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Julian  H.  Steward,  Editor 

Volume  3 

Prepared  in  Cooperation  With  the  United  States  Department  of  State  as  a  Project 
of  the  Interdepartmental   Committee   on   Scientific  and   Cultural   Cooperation 



WASHINGTON     :     1948 

For  aale  by  the  Superintendent  of  Documents,  U.  S.  Goyernment  Frintinc  Office. 
Washington  25,  D.  C. 


^CE  U 



Smithsonian  Institution, 
Bureau  of  American  Ethnology, 

Washington,  D.  C,  June  1, 1945. 

Sir:  I  have  the  honor  to  transmit  herewith  a  manuscript  entitled 
"Handbook  of  South  American  Indians.  Volume  3.  The  Tropical  Forest 
Tribes,"  edited  by  Julian  H.  Steward,  and  to  recommend  that  it  be 
published  as  a  bulletin  of  the  Bureau  of  American  Ethnology. 

Very  respectfully  yours, 

M.  W.  Stirling,  Chie]. 
Dr.  C.  G.  Abbot, 

Secretary  of  the  Smithsonian  Institution. 




Preface    xxi 

Acknowledgments    xxiii 

List  of  contributors  xxv 

The  Tropical  Forests :  An  introduction,  by  Robert  H.  Lowie  1 

Culture  2 

Bibliography  56 

Part  1.    The  Coastal  and  Amazonian  Tupi  57 

The  archeology  of  the  Parana  River,  by  Francisco  de  Aparicio 57 

Introduction    57 

Geographical   setting   57 

Ethnographic  considerations  and  conclusions   59 

History  of  archeological  investigations   60 

Archeological  sites  60 

Cultural  remains  , 62 

Bibliography  66 

The  Guarani,  by  Alfred  Metraux  69 

Tribal   divisions    69 

Archeology  of  the  Guarani  area  73 

The   Conquest    75 

Culture  80 

Bibliography  94 

The  Tupinamba,  by  Alfred  Metraux  95 

Tribal   divisions    95 

Historical  migrations  of  the  Tupinamba  97 

Culture  99 

Bibliography  133 

The  Guaja,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju  135 

History 135 

Culture  135 

Bibliography 136 

The  Tenetehara,  by  Charles  Wagley  and  Eduardo  Galvao 137 

Introduction    137 

History 138 

Culture  138 

Bibliography  148 

The  archeology  of  the  Amazon  Basin,  by  Betty  J.  Meggers 149 

Introduction    149 

Sources    151 

Archeological  regions    151 

Bibliography  166 

The  Tapirape,  by  Charles  Wagley  and  Eduardo  Galvao 167 

Introduction    167 

Culture  168 

Bibliography  178 

The  Caraja,  by  William  Lipkind 179 

Tribal  divisions  and  territory  1 79 

Archeology   180 

History 180 

Culture  180 

Bibliography  191 




The  Turiwara  and  Arua,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju 193 

The  Turiwara   193 

Language,  territory,  and  history 193 

Culture  194 

Bibliography 194 

The  Arua  195 

Territory,  language,  and  history 195 

Culture  197 

Bibliography   198 

The  Amanaye,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju  and  Alfred  Metraux  199 

Language,  territory,  and  history  199 

Culture  200 

Bibliography  202 

Little-known    tribes    of    the    lower    Tocantins    River    region,    by    Curt 

Nimuendaju    203 

Introduction    203 

The  Pacaja 203 

Territory  and  history 203 

Culture  204 

The  Anambe   204 

History  and  territory    204 

The  Tapiraua 204 

The  Kupe-rob  205 

The  Jacunda 206 

The  Paracana 206 

History    206 

Culture  207 

The  Mirano   208 

Bibliography  208 

Little-known  tribes  of  the  lower  Amazon,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju 209 

The  Aracaju 209 

The  Apoto   210 

The  Pauxi   210 

Bibliography  211 

Tribes  of  the  lower  and  middle  Xingu  River,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju 

Geographic   background    213 

Cultural  summary    213 

Linguistic  affinities   214 

Prehistoric  peoples    216 

Historic  tribes   217 

The  Yuruna   218 

The   Shipaya    219 

The  Arupai    220 

The  Curuaya  221 

The  Tacunyape  222 

The  Arara   223 

The  Asurini   225 

Culture  225 

Bibliography  243 



The  Maue  and  Arapium,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju  245 

The  Maue  245 

Introduction    245 

Culture  246 

The  Arapium  253 

Bibliography  254 

The  Mura  and  Piraha,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju  255 

The  Mura  255 

Tribal  location  and  history 255 

Language 257 

Culture  258 

The  Piraha  266 

Tribal  location,  history,  and  language 266 

The  Yahahi    267 

Culture  267 

Bibliography  269 

The  Mundurucu,  by  Donald  Horton 271 

Territory  and  name   271 

History 272 

Culture  '2-T^ 

Bibliography  282 

The  Cawahib,  Parintintin,  and  their  neighbors,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju. ..  283 

The  old  Cawahib  283 

The  Parintintin  284 

Territory,  language,  and  history 284 

Culture  285 

Indians  of  the  Anari  River  region  294 

Territory  and  history 294 

Culture  295 

The    "Parintintin"   between   the  upper   Tapajoz  and   Sao   Manoel 

Rivers 295 

Indians  of  the  Sangue  River  region 296 

Indians  of  tlie  Bararaty  River  region  296 

The  "Parintintin"  between  the  Jamaxim  and  Crepory  River? 296 

Bibliography   297 

The  Tupi-Cawahib,  by  Claude  Levi-Strauss  299 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  299 

Culture 300 

Bibliography   305 

The  Cayabi,  Tapanyuna,  and  Apiaca,  by  Curt  Nimuendaju 307 

The  Cayabi  307 

Introduction    307 

Culture  308 

The  Tapanyuna  310 

The  Apiaca   312 

Introduction    312 

Culture  313 

Bibliography  (See  The  Cawahib,  Parintintin,  and  their  neighbors.)  . 

Tribes  of  the  upper  Xingu  River,  by  Claud-Levi-Strauss  321 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  321 

Culture  324 

Bibliography  348 



Part  2.    The  tribes  of  Mato  Grosso  and  eastern  Bolivia 349 

The  Paressi,  by  Alfred  Metraux 349 

Tribal   divisions    349 

History 350 

Sources    350 

Culture  351 

Bibliography  360 

The  Nambicuara,  by  Claude  Levi-Strauss  361 

Tribal  divisions  and  history   361 

Culture  362 

Bibliography   369 

Tribes  of  the  right  bank  of  the  Guapore  River,  by  Claude  Levi-Strauss.  371 

Introduction    371 

Tribal   divisions    371 

Culture  372 

Bibliography   379 

Tribes   of  eastern   Bolivia  and   the   Madeira  Headwaters,    by  Alfred 

Metraux 381 

The  Chiquitoans  and  other  tribes  of  the  Province  of  Chiquitos 381 

Tribal  divisions  and  languages  381 

The  Chiquitoan  linguistic  family 383 

History  of  the  Province  of  Chiquitos  383 

The  culture  of  the  Chiquito  proper 384 

The  Manasi    388 

Language  and  habitat   388 

Culture  388 

The  modern  Churapa 393 

History 393 

Culture  393 

The  sixteenth-century  ethnography  of  the  Chiquitos  region. . . .  394 

Bibliography   395 

The  Otukean  tribes  395 

Bibliography  395 

Tribes  of  unidentified  language,  presumably  Otukean  395 

The  Arawakan  tribes  of  Chiquitos  396 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  396 

Culture  396 

The  Chapacuran  tribes  397 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  397 

Culture  397 

Bibliography   406 

Little-known  tribes  of  the  upper  Madeira  River 406 

Bibliography  407 

The  Mojo  and  Baure  408 

Tribal  divisions  408 

History     409 

Sources    410 

Archeology  of  the  Mojo  region 410 

Culture  412 

Bibliography   424 



The  Canichana,  Movima,  Cayuvava,  and  Itonama 425 

The  Canichana 425 

Territory  and  history   425 

Culture  425 

Bibhography  426 

The  Movima   426 

Territory  and  history  426 

Culture  426 

Bibliography  426 

The  Cayuvava  427 

Territory  and  history   427 

Culture  427 

Bibliography  427 

The  Itonama   428 

Territory  and  history   428 

Culture  428 

Bibliography  430 

The  Guarayu  and  Pauserna  430 

Tribal  divisions  430 

History    430 

Culture 431 

Bibliography     438 

The  Tacanan  tribes   438 

Tribal  divisions  438 

History    441 

Culture 442 

Bibliography     449 

The  Southeastern  Panoan  tribes 449 

Tribal  divisions  449 

Culture 450 

Bibliography     452 

The  Southwestern  Panoan  tribes 453 

Tribal  divisions  453 

Culture 453 

Bibliography     454 

The  Sirion6,  by  Allan  Holmberg  455 

Introduction   455 

History 455 

Culture  456 

Bibliography 463 

Tribes  of  the  eastern  slopes  of  the  Bolivian  Andes,  by  Alfred  Metraux.  465 

Introduction    465 

Chiriguano  and  Chane   465 

History    465 

Archeology    468 

Sources    469 

Culture 470 

Bibliography   485 

The  Yuracare,  Mosetene,  and  Chimane  485 

Tribal  divisions  485 

Archeology    486 





Post-Conquest  history  486 

Culture 487 

Bibliography   504 

The  Leco    505 

History    505 

Culture 505 

The  Apolista  or  Lapacho  506 

Bibliography  506 

Part.  3.     Tribes  of  the  Montana  and  Bolivian  east  Andes  507 

Tribes  of  the  Montana :  An  introduction,  by  Julian  H,  Steward 507 

Introduction    507 

History  and  sources  509 

Montana  culture  and  culture  changes 515 

Bibliography  533 

Tribes  of  the  Peruvian  and  Ecuadorian  Montaiia,  by  Julian  H.  Steward 

and  Alfred  Metraux  535 

Arawakan    tribes    535 

Introduction    535 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  535 

Sources    541 

Culture 542 

Bibliography  551 

Mayoruna    551 

History    551 

Culture 552 

Bibliography  555 

The  Panoan  tribes  of  Eastern  Peru  555 

Introduction   555 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  557 

Sources    567 

Culture 567 

Bibliography  595 

The  seventeenth-century  tribes  of  the  upper  Huallaga  River 595 

Tribal  divisions  595 

History    597 

Ethnographic   summary    597 

Bibliography  597 

Tribes  of  the  middle  Huallaga  River  598 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  598 

Sources    601 

Culture 601 

Bibliography  605 

The  Cahuapanan  tribes 605 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  605 

Sources    608 

Culture 608 

Bibliography  614 

Tribes  of  the  upper  Maran6n  River  614 

Tribal  divisions  614 

History    616 

Ethnographic  summary    616 



The  Jivaro  617 

Introduction    617 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  618 

Sources    619 

Culture 619 

Bibliography  627 

The  Zaparoan  tribes  628 

Introduction   628 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  629 

Culture 639 

Bibliography  651 

The  Cofan   651 

Bibliography  651 

Unidentified  tribes  of  the  upper  Putumayo-Napo  River  region....  651 

The  Quijo   652 

Introduction    652 

History    653 

Sources    653 

Culture  653 

Bibliography  656 

Part  4.    Tribes  of  the  western  Amazon  Basin  657 

Tribes  of  the  Jurua-Purus  Basins,  by  Alfred  Metraux  657 

Introduction    657 

Sources    658 

Tribal    divisions    659 

Panoan  tribes  659 

Arawakan  tribes  660 

Catukinan  tribes  663 

The  Tupian  family   664 

Culture  664 

Bibliography  686 

Tribes  of  the  middle  and  upper  Amazon  River,  by  Alfred  Metraux 687 

Tupian  tribes  of  the  upper  Amazon  River  687 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  687 

Sources    691 

Culture  691 

Tribes  of  the  middle  Amazon  704 

Ethnographic  data  in  Carvajal's  account  of  the  Orellana  Expedi- 
tion   (1542)    706 

Arawakan  tribes  of  the  left,  middle  Amazon  707 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  707 

Culture  709 

Bibliography  712 

The  Tucuna,  by  Curt  Nimuendajii  713 

Habitat,  history,  and  language  713 

Culture  714 

Bibliography  725 

The  Peban  tribes,  by  Julian  H.  Steward  and  Alfred  Metraux 728 

Introduction    727 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  727 

Sources    729 



Culture 730 

Bibliography  736 

Western  Tucanoan  tribes,  by  Julian  H.  Steward IZl 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  737 

Culture 741 

Tribes  of  uncertain  affiliation  in  the  upper  Putumaj-o  region 747 

Bibliography  748 

The  Witotoan  tribes,  by  Julian  H.  Steward  749 

Introduction    749 

Tribal  divisions  and  history  749 

Sources    751 

Culture 751 

Bibliography   762 

Tribes  of  the  Uaupes-Caqueta  region,  by  Irving  Goldman  763 

Introduction    763 

Tribal    divisions    764 

Tribal   history    767 

Culture 769 

Bibliography  798 

Part  5.     Tribes  of  the  Guianas  and  the  left  Amazon  tributaries  799 

Tribes  of  the  Guianas,  by  John  Gillin  799 

Introduction    799 

Tribal    divisions    801 

The  Arawakan  family   801 

The  Auakean  family  804 

The  Cariban  family  804 

The  Calianan  family   813 

The  Macuan  family 813 

The  Muran  family  813 

The  Salivan  or  Macuan  family  813 

The  Shirianan  family  814 

The  Tupian  family    814 

The  Warrauan  family   815 

Linguistic  family  unidentified  815 

History 817 

Sources    818 

Archeology   819 

Culture 825 

Bibliography  858 

The  hunting  and  gathering  tribes  of  the  Rio  Negro  Basin,  by  Alfred 

Metraux     861 

The  Shiriana,  Waica,  and  Guaharibo 861 

Tribal  divisions   861 

Culture  862 

The  Macu  864 

The  Macu  of  the  Rio  Negro  and  Caiari-Uaupes  River  867 

The  Macu  of  the  Urariocoera  Basin  867 

The  Macu-Piaroa  867 

Bibliography   867 

The  Warrau,  by  Paul  Kirchhoff 869 

Location,  history,  and  sources   869 



Language 870 

Culture 870 

Bibliography  881 

Part  6.     Culture  areas  of  the  Tropical  Forests,  by  Julian  H.  Steward 

Introduction    883 

The  basic  Tropical  Forest  cultures 886 

The  Guianas  886 

Northwest  Amazon   888 

The  Montana  890 

The  Mura  891 

The  Jurua  and  Purus  River  tribes  891 

The    Mojos-Chiquitos   area    892 

Tupian  tribes  894 

The  Marginal  cultures 896 

Guiana  Internal  Marginals   896 

Northwestern   Marginals    896 

The  Western  Submarginals 896 

Marginal  tribes  of  the  southern  Amazon  periphery   897 

Glossary    901 

Bibliography  903 



1.  Brazilian  and  Paraguayan  landscapes  from  the  air 38 

2.  The  Peruvian  Montana  38 

3.  Ecuadorean  and  Brazilian  jungles  38 

4.  Landscapes  of  Venezuela  and  the  Guianas  38 

5.  Venezuela   rivers    38 

6.  Tropical  Forest  hunters  and  fishers  38 

7.  With  blowgun  and  gun  in  the  Tropical  Forest  38 

8.  Tropical  Forest  agriculture  and  food  preparation   38 

9.  Plastic  representations  from  the  Parana  River  country 58 

10.  Parana  River  area  sherds  58 

11.  Fingernail-marked  Guarani  ware 90 

12.  Guarani  and  other  pottery  from  Paraguay  90 

13.  Tenetehara  boys  138 

14.  Tenetehara  women  and  shaman  138 

15.  Amazonian  pottery  from  Counany  154 

16.  Amazonian  burial  urns  from  Marajo  154 

17.  Amazonian  pottery  from  Marajo 154 

18.  Amazonian  pottery  from  Marajo  and  Santarem   154 

19.  Tapirape  ceremonies  and  house  construction  170 

20.  Caraja  house  and  physical  types  186 

21.  Caraja  types  186 

22.  Caraja  paddles,  gourds,  and  basketry  186 

23.  Mundurucu  artifacts   282 

24.  Tupi-Cawahib  village  life  306 

25.  Tupi-Cawahib  village  life  306 

26.  Tupi-Cawahib  mothers  and  children  306 

27.  Yaulapiti  Indians  in  "woodskins,"  or  bark  canoes 346 

28.  Yaulapiti  women  preparing  manioc  in  pottery  vessels 346 

29.  Upper  Xingu  house  frames  346 

30.  Naravute  and  Yaulapiti  Indians 346 

31.  Upper  Xingu  Indians   346 

32.  Aueto  carrying  bark  canoe  346 

33.  Upper  Xingu  Indians    346 

34.  Fish-net  dance  of  the  Nahukwa  346 

35.  Paressi   life    354 

36.  Nambicuara  types  370 

37.  Nambicuara  and  upper  Guapore  Indians  370 

38.  Indians  of  the  Pimenta  Bueno  River  378 

39.  Huge  trumpets  of  the  Mojos  region  410 

40.  Tiboita  and  Mojo  Indians  410 

41.  Chiriguano  pottery  and  urn  burials 506 

42.  Chiriguano   Indians    506 

43.  Chiriguano  artifacts    506 

44.  Wooden  masks  of  the  Chiriguano  and  the  altiplano 506 

45.  Yuracare  Indians  of  the  early  19th  century 506 

46.  Modern  Yuracare  Indians  506 




47.  Chimane  and  Yuracare  manufactures  506 

48.  Panoan  Indians  of  the  19th  century 634 

49.  Conibo  Indians    634 

50.  Cashibo  and  Campa  garment  types 634 

51.  Montana  ear,  nose,  and  lip  ornaments  634 

52.  Montana  pottery  types  634 

53.  Masco  Indians  634 

54.  Archers  of  the  Montana  634 

55.  Masco  rack  of  pottery  and  temporary  windshelters   634 

56.  Acculturated  Canelo  Indians    634 

57.  Canelo   Indians    634 

58.  Canelo  Indians  of  the  19th  century 634 

59.  Zaparo  Indians  of  the  19th  century  634 

60.  Jivaro    Indians    634 

61.  Scenes  of  Jivaro  life 634 

62.  Jivaro    Indians    634 

63.  Human  heads  shrunken  by  the  Jivaro  634 

64.  Tucuna  objects  of  bark  cloth  714 

65.  Tucuna  Indians  of  the  19th  century  714 

66.  Yagua  and  Peba  Indians  730 

67.  Yagua  Indians  730 

68.  Yagua  village  scenes  730 

69.  Yagua  house  construction   730 

70.  Yagua  cutting  and  carrying  logs  for  a  raft '30 

71.  A  Yagua  raft    730 

72.  Yagua  traps   '30 

IZ.    Yagua  Indians  preparing  blowgun  and  darts  '^^ 

74.  Yagua  blowgun   '30 

75.  Yagua  textiles  730 

76.  Yagua    industries    '^0 

n.    A  Yagua  council  meeting '^^ 

78.  Yagua  scenes  '  ^^ 

79.  Yagua  Indians  '  ^^ 

80.  Coto   Indians    746 

81.  Bora  drums  and  Witoto  communal  house   762 

82.  Witoto  carved  wooden  memorial  figures  '"^ 

83.  Witoto  bark-cloth  masks  and  dance  costume  762 

84.  Witoto  dance  762 

85.  Bora  types    762 

86.  Witoto  men  and  women  in  festive  decorations 762 

87.  Witoto  types    762 

88.  Witoto  body  painting 762 

89.  Cubeo  fishweir  and  manioc  preparation  794 

90.  Food  prepartion,  northwest  Amazon 794 

91.  House  types  of  the  northwest  Amazon  794 

92.  A  Cawa  house   794 

93.  House  types  of  the  northwest  Amazon  794 

94.  Cubeo  manufactures    794 

95.  Cubeo  baskets   794 

96.  Cubeo  mourning  ceremony  794 

97.  Cubeo  mourning  dance  regalia  794 

98.  Cubeo  mourning  ceremony   794 



99.    Northwest  Amazon  drum  and  ceremonial  objects  794 

100.  Northwest  Amazon  manufactures  794 

101.  Northwest  Amazon  manufactures    794 

102.  Northwest  Amazon  manufactures    794 

103.  Indians  of  the  northwest  Amazon 794 

104.  Indians  of  the  northwest  Amazon  794 

105.  Guiana  house  frames  826 

106.  Guiana  houses  and  villages  826 

107.  Guiana  houses   826 

108.  Guiana  house  construction  826 

109.  Fishing  in  the  Guianas  826 

110.  Panare  blowgun   826 

111.  Growing  and  preparing  manioc  in  the  Guianas  826 

112.  Guiana  industries   826 

113.  Guiana  Indians  in  the  late  19th  century 826 

114.  Rucuyen  Indians  fishing  and  hunting  826 

115.  Guiana  women  weaving  and  spinning  826 

116.  Guiana  weaving  and  woodwork  826 

117.  Guiana  household  and  camp  scenes  826 

118.  Guiana  artifacts    826 

119.  Guiana  religion,  dances,  and  burial  826 

120.  Guiana  cremation,  curing,  and  ceremonialism   826 

121.  Guiana  costumes  and  transportation  826 

122.  Guiana  women    826 

123.  Guiana  types 826 

124.  Guiana  types 826 

125.  Shiriana  Indians   866 

126.  Macu  malloca  and  plantation  866 


1.  Tropical  Forest  crafts   15 

2.  Tropical  Forest  basketwork  of  lattice  type 23 

3.  Loom  for  manufacture  of  thick  hammocks  25 

4.  Parana  River  vessel  with  zoomorphic  handles  64 

5.  Guarani  pottery  from  the  Parana  Delta  67 

6.  Tupinamba  palisaded  village  and  camp  104 

7.  Tupinamba  headdress  and  ceremonial  war  club  105 

8.  Tupinamba  dress    106 

9.  Tupinamba  ceremonial  objects  107 

10.  Tupinamba  and  Guarani  pottery  110 

11.  Tupinamba  burial  and  cultivation  Ill 

12.  Tupinamba  warfare  and  cannibalism 121 

13.  Tupinamba  cannibalistic  ceremonies  123 

14.  Tupinamba  cannibalism 125 

15.  Tupinamba  shamans  wearing  feather  cloaks  and  carrying  rattles 130 

16.  Maraca  and  Marajo  pottery 158 

17.  Santarem  pottery    164 

18.  Caraja  house  frame 182 

19.  Caraja  wooden  stool   183 

20.  Caraja  manufactures  184 

21.  Caraja  manufactures   185 

22.  Caraja  burial   188 



23.  Caraja  wax  and  clay  dolls 189 

24.  Caraja  masks  190 

25.  Yuruna  wcxxlen  stool   228 

26.  Pottery  from  the  lower  Xingu  231 

27.  Asurini    weapons    232 

28.  Arara  trophies  237 

29.  Shipaya  painted  decorations 239 

30.  Lower  Xingii  wood  carvings  and  manufactures  240 

31.  Yuruna  carved  wooden  toys  (?)    241 

32.  A  Bacairi  village  326 

33.  Bacairi  pubic  covering  329 

34.  Upper  Xingu  artifacts   330 

35.  Upper  Xingu  wooden  spindle  whorls  332 

36.  Pottery  of  the  upper  Xingu  River  333 

37.  Upper  Xingu  artifacts  334 

38.  Bacairi  house  wall  decorations  on  bark  strips 341 

39.  Bacairi  wooden  dance  pendants  341 

40.  Bacairi  masked  dancers  342 

41.  Mehinacu  and  Bacairi  masks  343 

42.  Upper  Xingu  masks  344 

43.  Paressi  Indians  352 

44.  Paressi  decorated  gourds  356 

45.  Huari  ax 374 

46.  Guapore  musical  instruments   376 

47.  Macurap   pseudo-panpipes    377 

48.  Huari  bone  flutes  378 

49.  Artifacts  from  Chiquitos,  Churapa  Indians  387 

50.  Huanyam  pottery  forms  403 

51.  Itonama  woman  spinning  429 

52.  Guarayii  traps  432 

53.  Guarayu  carrying  basket  433 

54.  Guarayu  and  Chacobo  fire  drills  435 

55.  Tiatinagua  woman  making  cornmeal   443 

56.  A  "Cascara,"  or  bark  canoe,  of  the  Caripuna 451 

57.  Chiriguano  fish  dam  in  the  Pilcomayo  River  471 

58.  Chiriguano  and  Chane  pottery  decorations  474 

59.  Chiriguano  and  Chane  manufactures  475 

60.  Chiriguano   pottery    476 

61.  Chane  calabashes    477 

62.  Mosetene  traps    489 

63.  Mosetene  hut   490 

64.  Yuracare  ornaments,  whistles,  and  flutes 491 

65.  Yuracare  artifacts   492 

66.  Yuracare  stamps  and  combs  493 

67.  Chimane  dugout  canoe  494 

68.  Chimane  and  Yuracare  artifacts  495 

69.  Yuracare  twined  stick  box  496 

70.  Chimane  woman  spinning  cotton  496 

71.  Yuracare  musical  instruments  501 

72.  Goto  traps    518 

73.  Montana  pottery  types   523 

74.  Montana  pottery  types  524 


75.  Montana   pottery    52b 

76.  Panoan  (Chama)  device  for  head  deformation 573 

n.    Panoan  (Shipibo)  mother  and  children 573 

78.  Chama  and  Cahuapana  utensils  576 

79.  Panobo  bowl,  white  and  red   577 

80.  Montana   artifacts    579 

81.  Panoan  (Chama)  walking  aid  for  infants  584 

82.  Decorative  design  from  a  Shipibo  man's  cushma  588 

83.  Shipibo  paddle    588 

84.  Shipibo  body  painting  589 

85.  Shipibo  decorated  weaving  sword  or  batters  589 

86.  Montana  pottery  types  589 

87.  Artifacts  of  the  Montana  tribes   591 

88.  Cahuapanan  (Munichi)  low  platform  bed 609 

89.  Chebero  and  Aguano  utensils  611 

90.  Chebero  pottery    611 

91.  Jivaro  platform  bed    621 

92.  Jivaro  drum   625 

93.  Quijo  pot  on  stone  pot  rests  655 

94.  Yamamadi  fish  trap  666 

95.  Boats  of  the  Jurua-Purus  667 

96.  Houses  of  the  Jurua-Purus  668 

97.  Yamamadi   shelter    669 

98.  Ipurina  loom    672 

99.  Yamamadi  manufactures   673 

100.  Ipurind  bark  trumpet   678 

101.  Ipurind  tobacco  container  and  inhaler  680 

102.  Cocama  platform  bed  693 

103.  Cocama   pottery    696 

104.  Witoto  house  753 

105.  Witoto  drum   758 

106.  Witoto  taking  snuff  759 

107.  Spring-pole  trap,  Curicuriari  River   770 

108.  Northwest  Amazon  blowguns   771 

109.  Poisoned  arrow  point  of  the  Guariua,  northwest  Amazon 771 

110.  Cumaca  hut   774 

111.  Baniva   pottery    Ill 

112.  Northwest  Amazon  pottery  types 778 

113.  Cubeo  engraved  gourd  rattle  790 

114.  House  decorations  of  the  northwest  Amazon  790 

115.  Indian  children  of  the  northwest  Amazon 791 

116.  Tuyuca  "Yurupary"  feast   792 

117.  Tuyuca  "Yurupary"  dancer   792 

118.  Wooden  cigar-holder,  northwest  Amazon,  Tiquie  River 794 

119.  Guiana  banabs,  or  temporary  shelter  frames  830 

120.  Guiana  house  frames   831 

121.  Caramacoto  house   832 

122.  Guiana  wooden  seats   833 

123.  Guiana  bark  canoes  837 

124.  Rucuyen  woman  spinning   838 

125.  Guiana  cotton  cord  making  840 

126.  Guiana  hammock  making 841 



127.  Guiana  hammock  making  842 

128.  Guiana  hammock  making  843 

129.  Guiana  hammock  making  844 

130.  Manufacture  of  a  Guiana  (Warrau)  ite  (sensoro)  hammock 845 

131.  Guiana  manufactures    846 

132.  Guiana  bead-apron  technique 847 

133.  Guiana  bead-apron  technique  848 

134.  Warrau    burial    877 


1.  Areas  of  South  America  covered  by  Volumes  1,  2,  3,  and  4  of  the 

Handbook    xxvi 

2.  Archeological  sites  of  the  lower  Amazon  and  the  Guianas 150 

3.  The  tribes  of  Central  Brazil  (facing)  284 

4.  The  tribes  of  eastern  Bolivia  382 

5.  The  native  tribes  of  the  Montana  and  the  western  Amazon  Basin  (facing)  508 

6.  The  post-Conquest  expansion  of  Quechua  into  the  Montana  514 

7.  The  tribes  of  the  Guianas  (facing)  800 

8.  Cultural  divisions  of  the  area  included  in  the  present  volume 884 


Conciseness  is  possible  only  when  data  are  fully  understood.  Repre- 
sentation of  cultural  forms  no  less  than  of  physical  objects  may  be 
accomplished  in  a  few  incisive  strokes  if  the  outlines  are  clearly  per- 
ceived, but  when  they  are  blurred  or  invisible  the  only  recourse  is  to 
set  down  all  fragments  in  the  hope  that  further  knowledge  or  study 
may  reveal  the  true  forms.  Prolixness  in  the  present  volume  is  inevitable. 
Despite  the  comparative  uniformity  of  the  Tropical  Forest  cultures  and 
their  environments,  the  descriptions  have  required  at  least  twice  the 
space  of  the  far  more  complex  Andean  cultures.  This  is  explainable  by 
the  inadequacy  of  sources.  Not  over  half  a  dozen  of  the  hundreds  of 
tribes  have  been  described  with  the  completeness  demanded  by  modern 
ethnology.  Information  is  largely  from  random  travelers'  observations — 
mention  of  a  lip  plug  here,  a  cultivated  plant  there,  a  house  type  elsewhere. 
Compilation  of  all  the  information  from  the  many  scattered  sources 
leaves  the  tribal  pictures  overloaded  with  minutiae,  usually  of  dress, 
ornaments,  and  weapons,  while  the  essential  outlines  of  the  cultures  are 
not  even  suggested.  The  authors  have,  therefore,  presented  their  data 
in  some  fullness  rather  than  select  or  suppress  detail  in  favor  of  broad 
patterns  that  can  only  be  guessed  and  that,  therefore,  may  prove  to  be 
fictitious.  This  emphasis  on  detail  has  led  to  division  of  the  area  into 
a  large  number  of  small  groups — in  some  cases,  individual  tribes — with 
a  consequent  repetition  of  the  commoner  culture  elements.  At  the  same 
time,  it  gives  the  impression  of  capricious  distributions  and  of  bewilder- 
ing variety,  for  detached  elements  continually  appear  without  any  apparent 
relationship  to  the  culture  contexts.  Further  field  work  in  archeology, 
linguistics,  and  ethnology,  all  desperately  needed  in  the  area,  and  com- 
parative studies  of  existing  data  should  go  far  toward  permitting  a 
synthesis  of  these  data  in  terms  of  ecological,  historical,  and  configurational 

It  was  the  original  plan  to  include  in  Volume  3  all  the  Tropical  Forest 
and  Savanna  tribes  of  southern  and  eastern  Brazil,  the  Amazon,  the 
Guianas,  lowland  Venezuela  and  Colombia,  the  Antilles,  and  Central 
America.  It  has  become  evident,  however,  that  the  tribes  of  Venezuela 
north  of  the  Orinoco  River  and  of  the  northern  portions  of  Colombia 
differed  from  the  peoples  of  the  Amazon  in  many  important  respects. 
The  Antilles,  especially  before  the  Carib  invasions,  shared  some  of  the 
distinctive  Venezuelan  culture.  Central  America,  though  having  greater 
similarity  to  the  Tropical  Forests  than  to  the  adjoining  Andean  or  Mexi- 
can cultures,  was  strongly  influenced  by  the  latter.  In  view  of  these 
cultural  relationships,  it  has  seemed  desirable  to  reserve  Central  America, 
Northwestern  South  America,  and  the  Antilles  for  a  separate  volume, 



which  will  be  the  fourth  of  the  Handbook.  The  present  volume,  therefore, 
includes  only  those  Tropical  Forest  and  Savanna  peoples  south  of  the 
Orinoco  River. 

When  preparation  of  this  volume  began,  the  culture  areas  were  so 
imperfectly  known  that  it  was  impossible  to  use  them  as  a  basis  for  plan- 
ning and  assigning  articles.  Their  determination  had  to  await  a  com- 
parative study  of  the  finished  articles.  Contributors  were,  therefore, 
requested  to  describe  the  tribes  or  regions  that  they  knew  from  previous 
experience  or  for  which  they  had  access  to  the  literature.  The  articles 
are  arranged  in  major  areas,  corresponding  to  the  five  parts  of  the  volume. 
But  these  are  only  in  part  culture  areas.  (Compare  map  1,  showing  the 
coverage  of  these  parts,  and  map  8,  the  culture  areas.)  Haphazard  as 
the  arrangement  of  articles  may  appear  in  hindsight,  they  place  on  record 
sufficient  detailed  data  with  information  on  the  sources  to  provide  guides 
to  the  essential  facts  about  all  the  tribes.  They  are  not  exhaustive,  however, 
and  do  not  presume  to  supersede  all  previous  works.  Lowie's  Introduction 
gives  some  hint  of  the  richness  of  material  to  be  found  in  original  sources, 
and  works  such  as  Nordenskiold's  comparative  studies  contain  abundant 
material  not  recorded  here. 

The  articles  differ  widely  in  scope.  Some,  especially  those  on  the 
Guarani,  the  Tupinamba,  the  Montana,  the  Jurua-Purus  region,  and  the 
Guianas,  represent  a  general  survey  of  the  literature  and  are  broadly 
synthetic.  Others,  such  as  that  on  the  Uaupes-Caqueta  and  Nimuenda- 
ju's  large  number  of  short  articles  on  tribes  south  of  the  lower  Amazon, 
are  based  upon  much  original  field  work  as  well  as  upon  the  literature. 
Still  others,  for  instance  the  Tenetehara,  the  Tapirape,  the  Carajd,  the 
Nambicuara,  and  the  Tucuna,  are  essentially  original  reports  of  field  work 
done  by  the  authors  of  these  articles.  In  general,  tribes  which  are  little- 
known  through  existing  literature  are  treated  most  fully. 

Lowie  has  provided  a  general  view  of  the  Tropical  Forest  cultures  in 
his  Introduction,  utilizing  articles  in  this  volume  and  various  primary 
sources,  such  as  Koch-Griinberg,  Roth,  and  Nimuendaju,  according  to 
their  adequacy  in  describing  the  diflFerent  features  of  the  culture.  The 
Introduction  is  not  a  summary  of  the  present  volume,  but  rather  a  com- 
posite picture,  with  variations  and  their  distributions  noted  only  for  the 
more  important  features. 

At  the  end  of  the  volume,  the  editor  has  attempted  to  group  the 
tribes  described  in  tentative  culture  areas.  This  is  based  essentially  on 
the  material  of  the  present  volume.  It  shows  some  of  those  groups  of 
elements  which  give  the  cultures  their  local  character. 

This  volume  is  written  largely  from  the  point  of  view  of  the  aboriginal 
Indian,  not  because  of  any  prejudice  with  respect  to  acculturation  but 
because  the  anthropology  of  the  area  has  traditionally  been  oriented  in 
this  direction.     As  Indians  lived  in  an  independent  and  primitive  state 


in  this  area  long  after  tiiey  were  subdued  elsewhere — a  half  million  or 
more  wild  Indians  still  inhabit  the  less  accessible  portions  of  it,  some  of 
them  not  yet  contacted  by  Whites — anthropology  naturally  has  directed 
its  attention  to  recording  the  pre-Columbian  cultures  so  richly  repre- 
sented. As  Indians  became  absorbed  into  the  national  populations,  losing 
their  cultural  identity,  they  passed  from  the  purview  of  anthropology. 
It  is  true  that  the  changes  in  native  culture  wrought  by  missionary  teach- 
ing, steel  tools,  Old  World  domesticated  plants  and  animals,  and  other 
factors  incident  to  the  coming  of  the  Whites  and  even  of  the  Negroes 
are  noted  from  time  to  time.  But  preoccupation  with  the  aboriginal 
continues,  and  the  very  interesting  processes  of  the  Indian's  assimilation 
of  European  culture  have  not  been  expressly  reported.  Though  accul- 
turation in  this  area  is  not  so  compelling  a  practical  problem  as  in  areas 
such  as  the  Andes,  where  the  Indian  culture  is  still  a  matter  of  some 
national  concern,  it  is  no  less  important  scientifically,  for  distinctive 
processes  are  represented. 

Bibliography. — ^The  bibliography  of  the  tribes  covered  in  this  volume 
has  been  presented  with  a  fullness  commensurate  with  the  need,  for  space 
prohibits  inclusion  of  all  items  submitted  by  contributors.  Where  full 
bibliographies  have  been  published  previously,  the  present  volume  includes 
only  sources  actually  cited  in  the  articles,  but  where  no  large  bibliographies 
are  in  print,  every  item  submitted  is  included.  The  bibliographies  are 
limited  to  literature  cited  in  the  case  of  the  Montaiia,  covered  by  Tessmann 
(1930)  ;  the  tribes  of  eastern  Bolivia,  published  by  Metraux  (1942)  ;  and 
the  Tupinamba,  also  given  by  Metraux  (1928  a,  b).  For  the  remaining 
tribes  and  regions,  all  items  are  included  here,  thus  affording  unusually 
complete  bibliographies  which  probably  omit  only  very  rare  or  local 
sources  and  an  imdetermined  amount  of  archival  material. 

A  rich  and  virtually  untapped  source  of  information  is  the  museums. 
The  contributors  have  undertaken  no  museum  research,  believing  that 
this  should  wait  until  after  the  war  when  there  will  be  more  time  and 
easier  transportation  and  when  such  European  collections  as  remain  may 
be  studied. 

Tribal  locations. — Because  an  unusually  large  number  of  tribes  is  cov- 
ered in  this  volume,  the  location  of  each  by  the  nearest  degree  of  latitude 
and  longitude  is  given  as  an  aid  to  finding  them  on  the  map. 


To  the  many  contributors  to  the  third  volume  of  the  Handbook  the 
editor  wishes  to  express  deepest  gratitude.  Their  fine  cooperation  in 
helping  solve  the  many  technical  problems  of  coordinating  the  various 
articles  has  enormously  lightened  the  task  of  preparing  the  volume. 
Special  thanks  are  due  Dr.  Robert  H.  Lowie,  Dr.  Curt  Nimuendajii,  and 
Dr.  Alfred  Metraux  for  their  generous  assistance  in  the  scientific  editing 


of  many  articles  besides  their  own,  and  to  Dr.  Gordon  Willey  and  Miss 
Ethelwyn  Carter  for  their  consistent  devotion  to  the  innumerable  chores 
necessary  to  the  work. 

We  are  also  grateful  to  the  Central  Translating  Division  of  the  De- 
partment of  State  and  to  the  Strategic  Index  of  the  Americas  for  assist- 
ance in  translating  many  articles  written  in  Portuguese. 

Illustrations  have  been  drawn  from  many  sources.  The  American 
Museum  of  Natural  History,  New  York ;  The  University  Museum,  Phila- 
delphia; the  Museo  Etnografico  de  la  Facultad  de  Filosofia  y  Letras, 
Buenos  Aires;  the  Museu  Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi,  Belem  do  Para;  the 
National  Geographic  Magazine,  Washington,  D.  C. ;  and  the  Museo  de 
Ciencias  Naturales,  Asuncion,  Paraguay,  have  generously  permitted  the 
Handbook  to  utilize  photographs  from  their  large  collections.  Special 
mention  must  be  made  of  the  large  series  of  excellent  photographs  of 
the  Yagua  and  Witoto  Indians  furnished  by  Dr.  Paul  Fejos  of  the  Viking 
Fund,  New  York  City.  Other  individuals  who  have  kindly  furnished 
photographs  are  Albert  W.  Stevens,  H.  E.  Anthony,  Llewelyn  Williams, 
G.  H.  H.  Tate,  C.  B.  Hitchcock,  Claude  Levi-Strauss,  M.  W.  Stirling, 
Max  Schmidt,  Charles  Wagley,  James  Sawders,  Curt  Nimuendajii,  Irving 
Goldman,  Batista  Venturello,  and  T.  D.  Carter, 

Julian  H.  Steward,  Editor. 




Francisco  de  Aparicio,  Museo  Etnogrdfico  de  la  Facultad  de  Filosojia 

y  Letras,  Buenos  Aires,  Argentina. 
Eduardo  Galvao,  Museu  Nacional,  Rio  de  Janeiro,  Brazil. 
John  Gillin/  Department  of  Sociology  and  Anthropology,  Duke  Uni- 
versity, Durham,  N.  C. 
Irving  Goldman,^  Coordinator  of  Inter-American  Affairs,  Washington, 

D.  C. 
Allan  Holmberg,^  Rubber  Development  Corporation,  Washington,  D.  C. 
Donald    Horton,    Columbia    Broadcasting    System    Television,    New 

York,  N.  Y. 
Paul  Kirch hoff,  Escuela  Nacional  de  Antropologia,  Instituto  Nacional 

de  Antropologia  e  Historia,  Mexico,  D.  F. 
Claude  Levi-Strauss,  Ecole  Libre  des  Hautes  Etudes,  New  School  for 

Social  Research,  New  York,  N.  Y. 
William  Lipkind,  Office  of  War  Information,  Washington,  D.  C. 
Robert  H.  Lowie^  Department  of  Anthropology,  University  of  California, 

Berkeley,  California. 
Betty  J.  Meggers/  Museum  of  Anthropology,  University  of  Michigan, 

Ann  Arbor,  Michigan. 
Alfred  Metraux,^  Smithsonian  Institution,  Washington,  D.  C. 
Curt  Nimuendaju,®  Museu  Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi,  Belem  do  Para, 

Julian  H.   Steward/  Institute   of  Social  Anthropology,  Smithsonian 

Institution,  Washington,  D.  C. 
Charles  Wagley,  Department  of  Anthropology,  Columbia  University, 

New  York,  N.  Y. 


1  Present   address:     Institute    for   Research    in    Social    Science,   University   of   North   Carolina, 

Chapel  Hill,  N.   C. 

2  Present  address :  United  States  Department  of  State,  Washington,  D.  C. 

*  Present  address :  Institute  of  Social  Anthropology,  Lima,  Peru. 

*  Present  address :  Department  of  Anthropology,  Columbia  University,  New  York,  N.  Y. 
^  Present  address :  Department  of  Social  Affairs,  United  Nations. 

*  Deceased. 

''  Present  address:  Department  of  Anthropology,  Columbia  University,  New  York,  N.  Y. 


Map  1— Areas  of  South  America  covered  by  Volumes  1,  2,  3,  and  4  of  the  Handbook 
of  South  American  Indians.  Diagonal  hachure,  Marginal  Tribes,  Volume  1 ;  stipled, 
Andean  Civilizations,  Volume  2 ;  v^rhite,  tribes  of  the  Tropical  Forests,  Volume  3 ; 
vertical  hachure,  areas  covered  by  Volume  4.  These  are  not  culture  areas  (see 
map  8). 




By  Robert  H.  Lowie 

The  Tropical  Forest  area  centers  in  the  Amazon  region,  but  the  tradi- 
tional "Tropical  Forest"  culture  by  no  means  coincides  with  the  geo- 
graphical region  indicated.  In  Im  Thurn  or  Koch-Griinberg  we  constantly 
encounter  the  contrast  between  selva  (pis.  1,  bottom;  3)  and  savanna 
(pi.  4,  center)  without  commensurate  cultural  differences.  We  must 
also  reckon  with  cases  of  Forest  peoples  who  migrated  into  new  territories, 
retaining  basic  traits,  yet  losing  others  for  environmental  reasons  and 
borrowing  still  other  features  from  their  new  neighbors.  The  Chiquitos- 
Mojos  peoples  form  a  good  illustration.  The  Tropical  Forest  complex  is 
marked  off  from  the  higher  Andean  civilizations  by  lacking  architectural 
and  metallurgical  refinements,  yet  outranks  cultures  with  the  hunting- 
gathering  economy  of  the  Botociido  or  with  the  moderate  horticulture  of 
the  Apinaye  (Ge  stock).  At  the  core  of  the  area  the  diagnostic  features 
are:  the  cultivation  of  tropical  root  crops,  especially  bitter  manioc; 
effective  river  craft ;  the  use  of  hammocks  as  beds ;  and  the  manufacture 
of  pottery. 

The  very  wide  distribution  of  certain  traits  in  the  area  is  correlated 
with  navigation.  Thanks  to  their  mobility,  the  canoeing  tribes  were  able 
to  maintain  themselves  in  the  midst  of  boatless  populations,  to  travel 
with  ease  over  periodically  inundated  tracts,  and  to  diffuse  their  arts 
and  customs  over  enormous  distances.  The  combination  of  this  technologi- 
cal factor  with  natural  conditions  has  produced  the  extraordinary  leveling 
of  culture  ("acculturation"  in  German  parlance)  in  this  area.  As  Norden- 
skiold  (1930  a,  p.  1  f.)  has  stressed,  northeastern  Bolivia  looks  close  to 
Peru  on  a  map,  but  is  separated  by  immense  silvan  barriers  and  by  un- 
navigable  watercourses,  so  that  cultural  differences  obtrude  themselves. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  Orinoco  and  Amazon  Basins  are  linked  by  the 
Casiquiare  (pi.  5,  center,  left,  and  bottom).  Accordingly,  earthenware 
decoration  in  Santarem  may  precisely  duplicate  details  from  the  Lesser 
Antilles  (ibid.,  16  f.)  ;  and  the  Macushi  of  Guiana  no  less  than  the  Maue 
of  the  Tapajoz  River  sling  a  girl's  hammock  near  the  roof  when  she 
attains  puberty.  (Roth,  1915,  p.  311  ;  Spix  and  Martins,  1828-31,  2 :1,318 ; 
Bates,  1892,  2:405  f.) 

2  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

In  so  vast  a  territory,  inhabited  by  diverse  stocks,  regional  variations 
are  naturally  not  effaced.  Enclaves  of  ruder  tribes  impressed  early 
travelers,  as  when  Bates  (1892,  1 :316,  327  f.)  noted  the  isolated  Mura 
of  the  lower  Madeira  River  as  nonhorticultural  fishermen  (but  see  p.  258) 
and  the  Arara  as  boatless  nomads  who  grew  no  manioc  (pp.  226,  230). 
On  the  other  hand,  significant  traits — say,  fish  drugging,  urucu  and  genipa 
paint,  the  couvade — have  passed  far  beyond  the  traditional  bearers  of 
the  Tropical  Forest  mode  of  life.  Nor  are  features  common  to  simpler 
tribes  and  to  manioc-growing  canoers  necessarily  derived  from  the  latter ; 
in  specific  instances  the  reverse  may  hold  (Metraux,  1928  b,  p.  194; 
1928  a,  p.  168  f.). 

Linguistically,  we  have  to  deal  primarily  with  three  major  families, 
the  Arawakan,  the  Carihan,  and  the  Tupi-Guarani.  The  Arawakans  were 
spread  over  the  Antilles  in  1492  and  had  recently  entered  the  southern 
tip  of  Florida ;  in  the  Antilles,  they  had  been  overrun  by  Cariban  invaders  ; 
in  Guiana  members  of  this  family  were  their  neighbors.  The  Mehinacu 
of  the  upper  Xingu  River,  the  Mojo  of  Bolivia,  the  Paressi  of  the  Mato 
Grosso,  the  Tereno  of  the  Chaco,  the  Goajiro  west  of  the  Gulf  of  Vene- 
zuela, and  various  groups  of  the  Puriis  and  upper  Ucayali  Rivers  are 
all  Araivakan.  The  Tupi-Guarani  are  equally  far-flung:  the  majority 
live  south  of  the  Amazon,  including  the  Aueto  of  the  Xingu  headwaters 
and  the  Guarani  of  the  Parana-La  Plata  region;  but  we  find  them  also 
on  the  coast  of  Brazil,  north  of  the  Amazon  (Oyampt,  Emerillon) ,  on  the 
Ucayali  River  (Cocama) ,  and  even  near  the  Andes  (Chiriguano) .  Of 
lesser,  but  still  considerable  range,  are  the  Caribans,  who  turn  up  near 
the  Xingu  sources  {Bacdiri),  but  most  typically  jostle  Arawakans  in 
Guiana  and  the  West  Indies. 

Two  other  families  are  the  Tucanoan  (Betoya)  in  the  Vaupes 
(Uaupes)-Yapura-Rio  Negro  district  and  the  Panoan,  whose  repre- 
sentatives live  on  the  Ucayali,  the  Javari,  the  upper  Jurua,  and  the  Madeira 
Rivers.  The  Tucano  of  the  Caiari-Vaupes  River  are  typical  of  the 
Tucanoans ;  the  Conibo  on  the  Ucayali  River  and  the  Chacobo  Indians 
west  of  the  Mamore-Guapore  confluence,  of  the  Panoans.  The  Witoto, 
between  the  upper  Yapura  and  the  Putumayo  Rivers,  form  a  distinct 
linguistic  family.  "Miranya,"  like  "Digger  Indian"  in  the  United  States, 
designates  no  fixed  unit,  but  various  unrelated  tribes  ranging  between 
the  Caqueta  and  the  Putumayo  Rivers  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  393; 
also,  this  volume,  p.  155).  The  Yuracare  along  the  upper  reaches  of 
western  affluents  of  the  Mamore  River  in  eastern  Bolivia  are  a  linguisti- 
cally isolated  Forest  people. 



Agriculture. — The  distinctive  achievement  of  the  area  is  the  domestica- 
tion and  cultivation  of  tropical  root  crops  (see  Sauer,  Handbook,  vol.  6)  — 

Vol.  3] 


bitter  and  sweet  manioc,  sweet  potatoes,  cara,  and  arrowroot — of  which 
the  poisonous  bitter  manioc  is  most  important,  though  it  is  not  known 
to  all  tribes.  Seed  crops  are  secondary,  but  virtually  all  tribes  grow 
several  varieties  of  maize.  In  the  marginal  region  of  the  Guapore  River, 
maize  and  peanuts  are  the  staples,  manioc  becoming  secondary  (p.  372). 
Indeed,  the  Nambicuara  follow  a  seasonally  alternating  pattern,  raising 
manioc  and  other  crops  during  the  rains,  but  otherwise  practicing  a 
hunting-gathering  economy  with  the  usual  sexual  division  of  labor 
(pp.  362-363).  Native  American  fruits,  particularly  palms,  are  widely 
cultivated,  but  have  spread  greatly  since  the  Conquest,  as  have  bananas, 
sugarcane,  and  other  Old  World  crops.  Indigenous  cultivated  plants 
also  include  dyes,  fish  drugs,  coca  (near  the  Andes),  tobacco,  cotton, 
and  arrow  canes  or  reeds.  The  domesticated  plants  and  their  distribu- 
tions are  given  in  the  following  list. 

Cultivated  plants  of 
Faod  Plants 

*Manioc,  cassava  (Manihot  utilissima)  : 
Sweet  variety  (ay pi)  :  yuca, 

macaxeira,  macaxera. 
Bitter  variety :  mandioca,  maniva, 


*Sweet  potato,  camote  (Ipomoea 

*Yam,  cara,  carahu  (Dioscorea  sp.). 

*Yautia,  malanga,  mangareto,  mangara 

(Xanthosoma  sagittifolium) . 
*Arrowroot  (Maranta  arundinacea) . 

Maize  {Zea  mays). 

*Cashew,  cajui  (Anacardimn 

*Peanut  (Arachis  hypogaea). 
*Kidney  bean  {P has eolus  vulgaris). 

the  Tropical  Forests^ 

Occurrence  and  use 

Aboriginal  throughout  the  Tropical 

Aboriginal  to  the  Guianas,  south  to  the 
Gtiarani  and  Tupinamha,  southwest 
to  the  Mojo  and  Caripuna,  little  in  the 
Jurua-Purus  region;  west  to  the 
Tucano  and  Tucanoans,  except  the 
Encahellado,  but  none  among  other 
tribes  of  Peru  and  Ecuador. 

Aboriginal  throughout  the  Tropical 
Forests  and  Savannas. 

The  true  yam  is  an  old  world  domesti- 
cate, but  wild  species  of  Dioscorea 
occur  in  Brazil,  some  of  them  perhaps 
domesticated,  especially  cara,  grown 
throughout  the  Amazon  Basin. 

Various  native  species,  being  the  Ameri- 
can equivalent  of  taro.  Brazil,  Guianas. 

Brazil,  Guianas;  recent  in  the  Uaupes- 
Caqueta  region. 

An  aboriginal  staple  throughout  the 
Tropical  Forests,  most  tribes  having 
many  varieties. 

Aboriginal  to  Brazil.  Anacardium  micro- 
carpum  bark  is  used  for  canoes. 

Aboriginal  throughout  Tropical  Forests. 

Aboriginal;  probably  widely  distributed 
but  rarely  identified  with  certainty  in 
the  Tropical  Forests. 

1  Starred  items  are  discussed  in  "Cultivated  plants  of  Central  and  South  America,"  by  Carl  Sauer, 
in  Volume  6  of  the  Handbook,  and  their  identifications  conform  with  Sauer's. 


[B.A.B.  Bull.  143 


Food  Plants — Continued 
*Lima  bean  (Phaseolus  lunatus). 

*Jack  bean  (Canavalia  ensiformis). 
*Squash  (Cucurbita). 

*Papaya,  mamoeiro  (Carica  papaya). 

*Surinam  cherry   (Eugenia  unifora). 

*Lucutna  obovata. 

*Guayaba,  guava  (Psidium  guajava). 

♦Pineapple  {Ananas  sativus). 

*Banana  (Mtisa  paradisiaca  sapicntmn) . 

*Plantain   (Musa  paradisiaca  normalis). 


*Sicana  {Sicana  odorifcra). 

*  Avocado,  abacate  {Per  sea  americana). 

*Pepper,  aji  {Capsicum) . 

♦Arracacha  (Arracacia  xanthorrhisa  or 
esculent  a). 
Hualusa  {Colocasia  esculenta). 

Castor  oil,  mamona  {Ricinus 
communis) . 
*Chonta   or   pejibaye   palm    {Guilielma 
gasipaes) . 

Bacaiuva  palm  (Acrocomia  sp.). 

Pupunha  palm  {Guilielma  gasipaes). 

Caimito   {Chrysophyllum  cainito). 

Pepino  {Solanum  muricatum). 

Cacabo  {Xanthosoma  sp.). 
*Cacao  {Theobroma  cacao). 

Occurrence  and  use 

Aboriginal    among    Tupinamba,    Maue, 

Apiacd,    and     probably     many    other 

Rarely  identified  but  probably  of  wide 

native  distribution  in  Brazil. 
Sauer  (vol.  6)  gives  Cucurbita  maxima 

as     the    aboriginal    Andean    species, 

which  probably  occurs  also  in  Brazil, 

and   C.   moschata   as    the   species   of 

northeastern  Brazil. 
An  aboriginal  fruit  occurring  among  all 

these    tribes    though   perhaps    spread 

somewhat   since   the    Conquest.     The 

fruit  is  called  papaya  or  manao. 
Aboriginal     fruit     of     eastern     South 

Aboriginal  fruit  of  Brazil. 
Probably    recently    introduced    to    the 

Uaupes-Caqueta  area  and  elsewhere. 
Probably     aboriginal      throughout     the 

Tropical  Forests. 
Probably  Old  World   Origin    (see  vol. 

6),   but  not  a  staple  throughout  the 

Tropical  Forests. 
Doubtful     whether     native      America. 

Brazil,  Montana. 
Montaiia ;  Uaupes-Caqueta  region. 
Aboriginal    in    Brazil,    Paraguay.      An 

unidentified     species    was    grown     in 

eastern  Peru. 
Aboriginal     (?)     in    Guianas;    eastern 

Aboriginal,     throughout     the     Tropical 

Aboriginal  root  plant ;  Mojo. 

Upper    Guapore    River. 

among  Tacanans. 
Upper  Xingu  River. 

Recent     ( ?) 

Aboriginal  in  Amazon.  This  supplies 
both  food  and  a  widely  used  bow  wood. 

Upper  Xingu  River. 

Jurua-Purus  Rivers. 

Eastern  Peru 

Eastern  Peru 

Eastern  Peru 

Aboriginal  in  America,  but  probably 
post-Conquest  in  Tropical  Forests, 
where  wild  species  were  widely 

Vol.  3] 


Food  Plants — Continued 
Frutas  de  lobo  (Solanwn  lycocarpum) . 
Mangabeira  (Hancornia  speciosa). 

Mamona  (Ricimis  communis). 

*Coca  (Erythroxylon  coca). 

Tobacco  (Nicotiana  tabacum). 

Plants  used  in  manufactures 

*Cotton    (Gossypium  harbadense  and 
G.  hirstitum). 

*Urucu,  achiote,  bixa  (Bixa  orellana). 

*Genipa,  genipapo,  jenipapeiro   (Genipa 

americana) . 
♦Calabash,  cujete  (Crescentia  cujetc). 

Gourd  (Lagcnaria  siceraria). 

Reeds,  cafia  de  Castilla,  tacuapi 

(Arundo  donax). 
Uba  cane  {Gynerium  sagittatum). 

Rhamnidium  sp. 
Coix  lacryma-jobi. 
Razor  grass  (Scleria  sp.). 

Drugs  and  Poisons 
Nissolia  sp. 
Barbasco  {Lonchocarpus  nicou). 

Clebadium  vargasii. 

Tephrosia  {Tephrosia  toxicaria). 

Occurrence  and  use 

Upper  Xingu  River. 

Upper  Xingu  River.     Supplies  latex  for 

coaling  balls. 
Upper  Xingu  River. 

Aboriginal  in  nortliwestern  portion  of 
Tropical  Forests  and  northern  Mon- 
tana;  Uaupes-Caqueta ;  Ipurina. 

Aboriginal  to  most  but  not  all  tribes  of 
the  Tropical  Forests. 

Both  species  are  aboriginal  in  the 
Tropical  Forests,  but  the  distinction  is 
rarely  recorded. 

Berry  used  for  red  dye.  Aboriginal 
throughout  Tropical  Forests. 

Fruit  eaten ;  used  for  black  dye.  Ab- 
original tliroughout  Tropical  Forests. 

Aboriginal  probably  throughout  the 
Tropical  Forests. 

Aboriginal  among  many  Tropical  Forest 

Guarani.    Arrow  shafts. 

Aboriginal  on  the  upper  Xingu   River. 

For  arrow  shafts. 
Shrub.    Seeds  used  for  beads.    Guarani. 
Shrub.    Seeds  used  for  beads.    Guarani. 
Aboriginal  on  the  upper  Xingu   River. 

Sharp  blades  used  for  shaving. 

Herb  used  for  snake  bites,  Guarani. 
A  fish  poison :     Montana  and  probably 

elsewhere  (see  p.  518). 
A  fish  poison :     Montana  and  probably 

elsewhere  (see  p.  518). 
A  fish  poison :     Montana  and  probably 

elsewhere  (see  p.  518). 

A  few  tribes  of  the  area,  such  as  the  Shiriand,  Waica,  and  Guaharibo 
and  the  Macu  of  the  Rio  Negro  formerly  had  no  farming,  but  have  re- 
cently adopted  it  from  their  neighbors.  On  the  other  hand,  the  Guayaki 
and  the  Mura  have  abandoned  cultivation  since  the  Conquest  and  subsist 
solely  on  hunting  and  gathering. 

The  manner  of  clearing  the  forest  for  typical  slash-and-burn  agri- 
culture (pis.  8,  top;  111,  top;  126)  is  described  on  pages  99  and  825.  The 
men  make  the  clearings,  the  rest  of  the  work  devolves  on  the  women,  who 

6  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

plant,   weed,   harvest,  and  prepare  the  food.     The   Chiriguano,  under 
Andean  influence,  have  in  the  main  mascuHne  tillage. 

To  prepare  bitter  manioc,  the  tuber  is  peeled,  washed,  and  grated  on 
a  board  set  with  spines  or  stones  (pis.  89,  bottom;  90,  bottom;  111, 
bottom),  the  resulting  pulp  being  typically  crainmed  by  handfuls  into  a 
cylindrical  basketry  press  (tipiti)  with  an  upper  and  a  lower  loop  (pis. 
90,  top;  111,  center).  The  upper  loop  is  hung  from  a  projecting  house 
beam,  while  a  strong  pole  is  passed  through  the  lower  and  put  under  the 
fulcrum  made  by  tying  a  stick  to  a  house  post  at  an  acute  angle.  A  woman 
sits  on  the  free  end  of  the  pole,  thus  extending  the  container  and  diminish- 
ing its  diameter.  The  poisonous  prussic  acid  thus  squeezed  out  through 
the  interstices  of  the  basketwork  is  allowed  to  drip  into  a  vessel.  The 
purged  pasty  mass  is  shaken  out  as  a  snow-white,  nearly  dry  mass,  which 
is  pounded  in  a  mortar  and  passed  through  a  sifter,  falling  on  a  mat.  The 
resultant  starchy  whitish  powder  is  either  (a)  baked  on  a  clay  grid  into 
thin  flat  cakes,  "beiju,"  or  {b)  prevented  from  consolidation  by  stirring, 
thus  yielding  an  accumulation  of  small,  dry  crumbs,  "farinha"  pellets, 
like  those  of  white  bread.  Of  a  morning  an  Aparai  woman  may  prepare 
30  beiju — the  weekly  household  supply;  well-baked  and  dried,  these  will 
keep  for  a  long  time,  as  will  the  pea-sized  pellets,  so  that  both  products 
provide  serviceable  traveling  fare.  (Speiser,  1926,  p.  146;  Roth.  1924, 
pp.  217,  277  ff. ;  Im  Thurn,  1883,  p.  252,  Further  details  on  manioc 
preparation  will  be  found  on  pp.  102,  200,  413,  450,  666,  772-773,  829.) 

Naturally,  the  processes  varied  somewhat  locally.  On  the  upper 
Amazon  it  was  possible  to  plant  manioc  on  the  earthy  banks  without  the 
necessity  for  a  clearing  (Bates,  1863,  p.  210),  and  the  period  of  matura- 
tion is  variously  given  as  9  months,  10  months,  or  even  2  years.  (P.  692; 
also  Roth,  1924,  p.  216;  Im  Thurn,  1883,  p.  251;  Koch-Griinberg,  1921, 
p.  334.)  The  basketry  press  obviously  presupposes  earlier  developmental 
stages,  such  as  are  noted  among  the  Witoto  and  on  the  upper  Purus  River, 
where  muscular  effort  is  required  to  wring  the  poison  by  hand  out  of 
a  plaited  sack.  This  may  represent  an  earlier  technique  (Metraux, 
1928  a,  pp.  104,  114  f.).  It  should  be  noted,  however,  that  boiling  is 
probably  sufficient  to  drive  off  the  prussic  acid. 

The  aboriginal  implements  included  hafted  stone  celts  for  chopping 
trees,  hardwood  shovels,  and  pointed  dibbles  (Roth,  1924,  p.  214;  Koch- 
Griinberg,  1921,  p.  334).  The  spade  appears  in  the  periphery  subject  to 
Andean  influence  {Chiriguano). 

Collecting. — Collecting  wild  fruits  is  naturally  less  important  at  the 
core  of  the  area  than  among  marginal  tribes,  such  as  the  Nambicuara, 
the  Siriono,  the  Shiriana,  or  the  Macu.  Nevertheless,  a  fairly  long  roster 
of  wild  species  whose  fruits  and  nuts  are  widely  exploited  for  food 
appears  in  the  following  list. 

Vol.  3] 


Useful  wild  plants  of  the  Tropical  Forests^ 

Drugs  and  Poisons 

Assacu,  possumwood  or  sandbox  tree 

(Hura  crepitans). 
Ayahuasca,    cayapi,    yage,    huni,    hayac- 

huasca       (Banisteriopsis      caapi,      B. 

inehrians,  and  B.  quitensis). 
Cunambi  {Clibadium  surinamense) . 

Curare,  curari. 



Floripondia,     huanto,     campa,     datura, 
borrochera  (Datura  arborea). 

Guayusa  (Ilex  sp.). 





Parica,  yupa,  niopo. 

Phyllanthus  conami. 


Yoco  (Paullinia  yoco). 

Timbo  (Paullinea  pinnata  or 

Serjania  sp.). 

Foods  and  Manufactures 

Achua  palm. 

Almecega    (Tetragastris   halsamifera). 


Anaja,  palm   (Maximiliana  regia). 

Andiroba,  Brazilian  mahogany   (Carapa 
guianensis) . 

Occurrence  and  use 

Widely  used  for  drugging  fish. 

A  strong  drug,  used  especially  among 
tribes  of  the  upper  Amazon. 

See  Ayahuasca. 

See  Floripondia. 

See  Ayahuasca. 

A  small  tree,  the  leaves  of  which  are 
used  to  drug  fish. 

A  deadly  poison,  used  generally  for 
blowgun  darts,  made  from  a  liana, 
Strychnos  toxifera. 

The  leaves  of  Mimosa  aracioides, 
pow^dered  and  taken  as  snuff  or  as  an 
enema  for  magical  and  therapeutic 

See  Floripondia. 

A  strong  intoxicating  drug,  used  espe- 
cially among  tribes  of  the  upper 

An  anesthetizing  drug,  used  in  eastern 

See  Ayahuasca. 

See  Floripondia. 

See  Ayahuasca. 

See  Parica. 

The  seeds  of  Mimosa  acacioides,  pow- 
dered and  taken  as  snuff  for  a  stimu- 

A  fish  drug. 

See  Ayahuasca. 

A  stimulating  drug,  used  in  Colombia. 

Fish  drug. 

See  Parica. 

See  Burity. 

Resin  used  for  lighting. 

A  mulberry  tree  of  the  genus  Cecropia, 
yielding  various  products. 

The  shoots  yield  a  fiber  used  in  the  man- 
ufacture of  mats,  baskets,  screens,  and 

The  seeds  contain  oil  used  by  the  natives 
for  insect  bites  and  lighting  purposes. 

^  The  present   list   includes   principally   the  plants   mentioned   in   the   present   volume.      A   more 
thorough  study  of  the  wild-plant  resources  will  be  found  in  Volume  6  of  the  Handbook. 




[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Foods  and  Manufactures — Continued 

Angelim  (Andira  sp.). 


Arrow  reed  (Gynerium  sac  char  oide  s) . 

Assai  {Euterpe  oleracea). 

Attalea  huniboldtiana. 
Attalea  spectabilis. 
Araucaria  brasiliensis. 

Babassu  palm  (Orbignya  speciosa). 

Bacaba  palm    {Oenocarpus  bacaba  and 
O.  distichus). 

Bactrix  maraja. 


Brazil  nut,  Para  nut   (Bertholletia 

Burity,     muriti,     miriti,     achua     palm 

(Mauritia  flexuosa  and  M.  vinosa). 

Bussu  palm   (Manicaria  saccifera). 


Caju  {Anacardium  occidentale) . 


Camayuva  cane  (Guadua  sp.). 


Carludovica  irigona. 



Cedar  (Cedrela  angustifolia) . 

Cumarii  (Coumarouna  odorata). 

Cupuassu  (Theobroma  grandiflorum) . 


Occurretice  and  use 

Dugout  wood. 

Anonaceae.    Bow  wood. 

Arrow  shafts. 

A  very  common  palm  from  the  fruit  of 
which  a  beverage  of  the  same  name  is 

Palm  with  an  edible  fruit. 

Palm  with  an  edible  fruit. 

A  pine  with  an  edible  nut  in  Guarani 

Widely  distributed  on  the  uplands,  sup- 
plying an  important  edible  oil  from  the 
hard  kernels  of  its  prolific  fruit. 

Abundant  througout  the  Amazon  Valley, 
supplying  cooking  oils  from  the  nuts 
and  a  drink  similar  to  assai  from  the 
pulp  of  the  fruit. 

Palm  with  an  edible  fruit. 

See  Palo  de  balsa. 

Important  food. 

Edible  fruit  and  pith ;  fibers  used  for 
cordage,  clothing,  hammocks,  and 
roofing;  trunk  contains  edible  beetle 

The  leaves,  resembling  those  of  a  banana 
tree,  make  an  excellent,  durable  thatch. 

A  variety  of  cacao  fruit. 

Edible  fruit. 

The  tree,  Anacardium  occidentale. 

Used  for  arrow  shafts. 

Pigment  from  leaves  of  Bignonia  chica. 

Basket  material. 

A  Brazil  nut  or  cashew  nut.  Castanha 
de  Para — Bertholletia  excelsa,  a  cas- 
tanha or  Brazil  nut.  Castanha  sapu- 
caia — Lecythis  paracusis,  a  nut  from 
the  sapucaia ;  a  paradise  or  cream  nut. 

See  Paxiuba. 

Tree  used  to  make  dugout  canoes. 

A  tree  which  yields  the  tonka  bean,  a 
source  of  vanillalike  flavoring. 

A  plant  very  closely  related  to  the  cacao 
tree,  whose  pulp  is  used  as  a  flavoring 
or  as  a  preserve,  with  seeds  yielding 
a  white  fat  similar  to  cocoa  butter. 

A  plant  of  the  Bromeliaceae  family 
whose  leaves  supply  fibers  used  for  the 
manufacture  of  hammocks  and  cord- 

Vol.  3 J 


Foods  and  Manufactures— Continued 

Curua  piranga. 

Embira  (Conratari  sp.). 

Euterpe  oleracea. 

Greenheart  (Nectandra  rodioei). 

Guarana  (Paullinia  sorbilis,  P.  cupana). 

Hymenaca  conrbaril. 
lacareva  {Calophyllmn  sp.). 

Jabota  {Cassia  blancheti). 


Jauary  {As  trocar  yum  jauary). 

Jerimu,  jerimum. 

Manga  (Mangifera  indica). 

Masaranduba  (Mimusops  excelsa). 


Moronohea  coccinea. 


Nibi  (Carludovica) . 

Oenocarpiis  sp. 

Palo  de  balsa  {O chroma  spp.). 


Pau  d'arco  (Tecojiia  sp.). 
Paxiuba,  pashiuba  palm,  barrigon 
(Iriartea  ventricosa) . 

Leopardwood  {Brosimmn  aubletii). 

Occurrence  and  use 

(1)  A  widely  distributed  palm  (Attalea 
spectabilis)  bearing  oil-producing 
seeds ;  (2)  a  palm  (A.  tnonosparma) 
whose  leaves  are  used  for  thatch. 

The  fiber  is  used  for  making  hammocks, 
cordage,  bowstrings,  etc. 

A  palm  with  an  edible  fruit. 

Seeds  eaten. 

P.  sorbilis  seeds  used  as  medicine ;  P.  cu- 
pana, to  flavor  a  beverage. 

Resin  used  as  pot  glaze. 

Dugout  wood. 

Common  name  of  three  species  of  trees 
of  the  Lauraceae  family  (Ocoiea 
megaphylla,  Silvia  itauba,  and  Silvia 
duckci)  whose  wood  is  excellent  for 
making  boats  and  canoes. 

A  tree,  the  bark  of  which  is  used  to 
make  canoes. 

A  tree,  the  bark  of  which  is  used  to 
make  canoes. 

One  of  the  most  common  palms  on  the 
low  varzeas,  the  folioles  of  which  are 
used  to  make  lightweight  hats,  the 
skin  of  the  petiole  to  weave  mats, 
sieves,  manioc  tipitis,  hammocks,  etc., 
the  fleshy  part  of  the  fruit  being  used 
as  an  edible  oil. 

The  fruit  of  the  serimuzeiro  tree  (abo- 
bora  in  the  southern  States). 

A  mango,  the  fruit  of  the  mango  tree. 

A  tree  yielding  an  edible  fruit. 

See  Burity. 

The  gum  of  this  plant  is  made  into  a 

See  Burity. 

A  vine,  used  for  basketry  material. 

A  palm  with  an  edible  fruit. 

A  very  light  wood  used  for  making 
rafts,  often  called  "balsas." 

Brazil  nut. 

Bow  wood. 

The  bark  used  for  bedding  and  wall 
covers,  the  trunk  for  canoes,  bows, 
flutes,  etc.  An  unidentified  species, 
called  catizal,  provides  thorns  for 
manioc  graters. 

A  bow  wood. 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Foods  and  Manufactures — Continued 

Pequi,  pequia,  piquia  (^Caryocar 
villosum) . 

Protium  heptaphyllum. 
Siriva  palm  (Cocos  sp.). 
Tabebuia  longipes. 

Urucuri  palm   (Attalea  excelsa). 
Vismia  guianensis. 

Occurrence  and  use 

These  species  are  the  largest  in  the 
Amazon  Valley,  attaining  a  diameter 
of  more  than  5  meters  at  the  base  of 
the  trunk.  Oleaginous  seeds  (50  per- 
cent oil)  are  contained  within  the 
roundish  fruit,  which  is  45  percent  oil ; 
the  cooked  seeds  are  edible. 

Rosin  used  for  lighting. 

Wood  used  for  clubs. 

The  gum  used  as  adhesive. 

See  Embira. 

Any  of  several  commercially  important 
palms  which  yield  textile  fibers,  and  in 
some  cases  also  edible  fruits  used  for 
making  wine;  specifically,  Acrocomia 
officinalis,  Bactris  setosa,  and  especially 
Astrocaryum  tucuma,  the  tucuma  palm, 
the  leaves  of  which  furnish  excellent 
coarse  fibers  used  in  manufacturing 
rope,  hammocks,  hats,  etc.,  and  the 
nuts  of  which  are  used  as  blunt  arrow- 
heads and  as  beads. 

Rosin  used  in  pot  glaze. 

Under  the  head  of  collecting  also  falls  the  gathering  of  such  animal 
food  as  mollusks,  caterpillars,  larvae,  and  ants,  some  of  which  are  treated 
as  delicacies  or  relishes.  Wild  honey  is  easily  secured  from  the  virtually 
stingless  species  of  the  Meliponinae  in  the  Orinoco  region  and  is  every- 
where a  favorite  food.  The  Guayaki  largely  subsist  on  honey,  fruits, 
and  other  parts  of  the  pindo  palm  and  on  the  grubs  of  beetles. 

Hunting. — The  relative  importance  and  the  purpose  of  hunting  vary 
locally.  Game,  especially  the  peccary,  is  usually  sought  for  food,  but 
many  species  are  taboo  to  various  tribes.  The  Caraja  hunt  primarily 
to  obtain  feathers,  while  the  Mojo  are  most  interested  in  stalking  the 
jaguar  in  order  to  win  honors.  Hunting  is  generally  of  secondary  im- 
portance among  the  tribes  of  the  major  rivers,  who  obtain  their  protein 
more  readily  from  fish,  turtles,  turtle  eggs,  and  manatee  than  from  forest 

Dogs  are  used  in  the  chase,  but  were  aboriginally  absent  in  many  tribes. 
As  for  hunting  techniques,  the  Guiana  Indians  manifest  virtually  all 
the  tricks  adaptable  to  their  fauna.  They  imitate  the  call  of  the  tapir, 
deer,  monkeys,  and  birds  to  allay  their  suspicions ;  stalk  deer ;  fire  the 
savanna  grass  and  encircle  large  game  in  communal  drives ;  dig  out 
armadillos  from  their  burrows;  or  lie  in  ambush,  screened  by  a  shelter 
built  on  the  ground  or  in  a  tree.     On  the  Orinoco  River  the  manatee  is 


harpooned  from  a  canoe  paddled  by  the  hunter's  wife,  while  on  the 
Amazon  it  is  caught  in  a  net  and  killed  by  driving  a  wooden  plug  up 
its  nostrils.  (See  also  pp.  258,  517,  827.)  Among  the  Mojo,  as  in  Mexico, 
Chiriqui,  Haiti,  and  on  Lake  Maracaibo,  ducks  are  familiarized  with  the 
sight  of  floating  calabashes  so  that  a  swimmer  wearing  a  headgear  of  cala- 
bash shell  may  catch  the  birds  with  his  bare  hands  (p.  413;  also  Norden- 
skiold,  1931  b,  p.  43).  The  Indians  also  use  various  snares,  traps  (pis.  72; 
112,  bottom;  figs.  52,  62),  deadfalls,  and  blinds  (pi.  114,  bottom)  ;  some 
of  these  devices  may  be  due  to  Negro  influence. 

The  distinctive  hunting  weapon  of  the  region  is  the  blowgun  (pis.  7, 
left;  7Z;  74;  110,  top)  ;  it  is  conspicuous  in  the  western  tribes  of  the 
Guianas,  on  the  upper  Amazon,  and  in  adjoining  districts,  and  it  appears 
as  far  south  as  the  Pawumwa  of  the  Guapore  River  and  in  the  gallery 
forests  of  the  Province  of  Mojos.  In  many  of  these  localities,  however, 
it  is  recent,  and  it  never  reached  the  Tupinamba  nor  the  tribes  of  the 
lower  Madeira,  Tapajoz,  Xingu,  and  Tocantins  Rivers.  Its  diffusion 
seems  clearly  to  have  been  from  the  north  or  northwest,  and,  although 
availability  of  materials  for  its  manufacture  may  have  conditioned  its 
local  occurrence,  its  wide  post-Columbian  spread,  as  Nordenskiold  has 
suggested,  may  have  hinged  on  that  of  curare.  Curare  is  the  deadly 
poison  which  makes  the  slim  darts  eflFective  and  led  various  tribes  to 
supplant  their  earlier  spear  throwers  and  bows  with  blowguns  (Norden- 
skiold, 1924  b,  pp.  57-64,  map  7;  also,  this  vol.,  pp.  33,  355).  So  rapidly 
and  widely  has  the  blowgun  spread  that  Stirling  (1938)  has  even  sug- 
gested its  post-Conquest  introduction  to  the  New  World. 

The  blowgun  is  used  solely  for  hunting,  never  for  warfare. 

The  blowgun  may  consist  of  two  complete  tubes,  one  within  the  other; 
or  of  an  inner  tube  within  a  case  of  two  split  halves ;  or  of  a  single  tube 
composed  of  two  split  halves  each  carefully  grooved  and  tightly  strapped 
together.  The  length  may  be  anywhere  from  8  to  10  feet  (2.4  to  3  m.) 
or  even  16  feet  (4.8  m.).  A  sudden  puff  of  breath  applied  to  a  small 
truncate  mouthpiece  forces  out  the  dart,  which  is  usually  of  palmwood 
the  thickness  of  a  knitting  needle,  from  9  to  16  inches  (23  to  40  cm.) 
in  length,  and  tipped  with  the  poison.  Curare  may  kill  the  quarry  within 
a  few  minutes.  A  good  marksman  will  strike  his  target  at  a  distance 
of  120  feet  (36  m.).  The  noiselessness  of  the  procedure  enables  the 
natives  to  shoot  from  its  perch  one  bird  or  monkey  after  another ;  which 
explains  their  preference  of  the  blowgun  to  firearms.  Quivers  are 
variously  made:  the  Aiari  River  Indians  make  a  basketry  tube  about 
17  inches  (43  cm.)  long  and  constricted  toward  the  middle,  the  bottom 
being  of  wood  or  a  piece  of  calabash.  The  lower  part  is  externally  coated 
with  pitch,  the  rest  with  a  finer  plaitwork  which  displays  the  black  and 
red  meander  patterns  typical  of  the  regional  basketwork  and  also  painted 
on  pottery.     Elsewhere,  a  section  of  bamboo  is  used. 

12  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Since  neither  the  requisite  wood  or  cane  nor  the  poison  is  of  general 
occurrence,  the  blowgun  and  its  accessories  are  traded  over  considerable 

However,  the  presence  of  the  blowgun  does  not  exclude  the  bow,  which 
serves  against  larger  quadrupeds  even  in  the  center  of  the  blowgun  area. 
Tropical  Forest  bows  are  notable  for  their  great  length — those  of  the 
Siriono  are  9  feet  (2.8  m.)  long  with  arrows  to  match — perhaps  neces- 
sitated by  the  common  use  of  palmwood,  especially  chonta.  The  material 
for  the  stave  varies  locally,  however;  leopardwood  (Brosimum  auhletn) 
is  traded  between  Brazil  and  Guiana.  Among  a  few  tribes,  the  median 
cross  section  is  circular,  but  among  most  it  is  semicircular  or  flat. 

The  bowstring  is  of  wild-plant  fibers,  particularly  tucum.  Arrows 
nearly  everywhere  have  cane  shafts  and  five  types  of  heads :  (1 )  A  large, 
lanceolate  bamboo  blade  (pi.  6,  left,  bottom)  ;  (2)  a  jagged,  rodlike  point 
of  hardwood,  bone,  or  a  sting  ray,  often  with  additional  barbs;  (3)  a 
blunt  knobbed  head  for  stunning  birds ;  (4)  several  diverging  points 
for  impaling  fish;  and  (5)  harpoon  heads  for  aquatic  game.  Additional 
types  of  limited  distribution  are  whistling  arrows,  with  a  hollow  nut 
on  the  tip,  and  incendiary  arrows.  Stone,  being  unknown  throughout 
most  of  the  area,  is  rarely  employed  for  heads. 

To  make  an  arrow  in  the  Guianas,  the  barbed  tip  formerly  was  fixed 
in  a  slot  tediously  prepared  by  first  drilling  holes  adjoining  one  another 
with  a  deer-horn  tool,  with  which  the  intervening  material  was  removed. 
Wedged  in  this  groove,  the  bone  was  fastened  with  twine  and  cement. 
The  shaft  is  of  arrow  reed  (Gynerium  saccharoides) ,  sometimes  specially 
grown  for  the  purpose.  It  is  two-feathered  if  intended  for  the  air, 
unfeathered  for  shooting  fish. 

Poison  is  employed  on  arrow  points  much  less  commonly  than  on 
blowgun  darts.     Sometimes  curare  is  used,  sometimes  other  ingredients. 

As  for  the  release,  the  Aiari  River  Indians  hold  the  nock  of  the 
arrow  between  the  thumb  and  index,  the  other  fingers  merely  pressing 
against  the  palm  of  the  hand.  This  primary  release  is  noted  for  the 
Guianas,  where  Roth,  however,  also  observed  the  string  pressed  upon 
by  the  index  finger  alone.  The  Arawakan  Baniva  (upper  Orinoco  River) 
draw  their  bows  with  their  feet ;  and  on  the  upper  Rio  Negro,  a  nocturnal 
fish-hunter  pulls  his  string  and  the  extra  short  shaft  with  his  mouth 
while  holding  his  bow  in  his  left  hand  and  a  torch  in  his  right  (Koch- 
Griinberg,  1921,  p.  246). 

Recently,  thrusting  spears  of  wood  tipped  with  lanceolate  iron  points 
are  used  against  peccaries  and  jaguars  on  the  upper  Rio  Negro.  Anciently, 
the  metal  heads  may  have  been  preceded  by  quartz  or  jasper  equivalents, 
such  as  occur  archeologically  in  northwestern  coastal  British  Guiana. 

Domesticated  animals  and  pets. — Dogs  are  found  among  nearly  all 
the  Tropical  Forest  tribes,  but  their  aboriginal  distribution  is  open  to 


question,  despite  their  pre-Columbian  occurrence  in  the  Andes  and  the 
Antilles.  Failure  of  the  early  chroniclers  to  mention  them  casts  doubt 
on  their  antiquity  in  the  Amazon  area,  but  their  general  importance  to 
the  chase  mitigates  the  conclusiveness  of  this  negative  evidence.  At  least 
in  the  Guianas  and  vicinity,  the  dogs  seem  to  be  cross-bred  from  the 
indigenous  ones  and  European  imports.  The  Nambicuara,  however, 
obtained  theirs  from  the  Rondon  expedition. 

Several  tribes  exhibit  incipient  stages  of  beekeeping.  The  Paressi 
keep  bees  (Trigona  jati)  in  gourd  hives  (p.  351)  ;  the  Macuna  and  the 
Menimehe,  in  a  section  of  a  hollow  log  tied  to  a  house  beam,  and  hanging 
6  feet  (2  m.)  above  the  ground  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  385;  Whiflfen, 
1915,  p.  51).  (For  American  distribution,  see  Nordenskiold,  1930  c, 
pp.  196-210.) 

The  Muscovy  duck  (see  Handbook,  vol.  6)  was  kept  under  domestica- 
tion by  the  Guarani,  and  probably  by  the  Tupinamba,  the  Mojo,  and  the 
Montana  tribes. 

Pigs  and  chickens  were  widely  adopted  from  Europeans,  and,  in  the 
grasslands  of  the  Province  of  Mojos,  cattle.  The  Mojo  had  many  cattle, 
but  the  Maropa  were  better  herders  (p.  443). 

As  pets,  the  Indians  keep  all  sorts  of  birds  and  beasts,  including 
monkeys  and  agoutis.  Women  often  suckle  young  mammals  as  they 
would  their  own  offspring. 

Fishing. — Both  nonhorticultural  populations  like  the  Mura  of  the  lower 
Madeira  River  (p.  258;  also  Bates,  1892,  p.  327)  and  many  northwest 
Brazilian  manioc  growers  were  above  all  fishermen,  and  even  elsewhere 
within  the  area  the  relevant  processes  were  important.  Of  these,  drugging 
was  probably  the  most  productive  (pi.  109,  top).  Over  a  hundred  narcotic 
species  are  known  to  have  been  applied,  many  of  them  in  the  Amazon- 
Orinoco  region.  (See  Handbook,  vol.  5;  also  Killip  and  Smith,  1931.) 
Perhaps  the  most  graphic  account  is  by  Spix  and  Martins  (1823-31, 
3:1063-1065),  which  states  that  large  quantities  of  timbo  tendrils  were 
crushed  and  carried  in  boats  along  the  surface  of  the  water,  causing  the 
fish  to  become  dizzy  and  to  leap  up  or  drift  unresistingly  till  they  could 
be  shot  or  picked  up  by  hand. 

Another  widespread  practice  is  to  shoot  fish  with  bows  and  arrows, 
(pis.  6,  right;  109,  bottom),  a  technique  extended  with  detachable  heads 
(harpoon  arrows)  to  turtles  (pi.  48,  bottom).  Fish  spears  (pi.  6,  top, 
left)  are  also  commonly  used. 

Nets  with  sinkers  had  a  very  restricted  distribution  in  pre-Columbian 
South  America,  and  are  lacking  in  our  area,  owing,  no  doubt,  largely 
to  the  many  trees  and  branches  in  the  rivers  that  would  render  them 
useless.  But  dip  nets  (pi.  101,  center)  are  widespread,  especially  on  the 
upper  Amazon,  where  they  are  made  of  tough  tucum  fiber. 

14  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Basketwork  is  used  in  various  ways  to  entrap  fish.  In  very  shallow 
water  or  mud  an  open-mouthed  basket  is  thrown  over  the  fish,  which 
are  extracted  by  hand  through  the  orifice.  Widespread  is  the  use  of 
creels  and  basketry  traps. 

Weirs  (pi.  89,  top)  and  stone  dams,  combined  with  bailing  out  water 
from  the  enclosed  area  or  with  drugging,  are  often  constructed  with 
great  care. 

In  contrast  to  the  Andean  hooks  of  copper  and  gold,  the  fishhooks  of  the 
Amazon-Orinoco — if  present  at  all — were  of  bone,  wood,  or  spines.  In 
Witoto  mythology  there  is  a  reference  to  a  naturally  barbed  hook  made 
of  a  bat's  elbow  (Preuss,  1921,  1:71).  Bait,  which  is  also  used  to  lure 
fish  within  arrow  range,  consists  of  berries,  seeds,  ants,  spiders,  etc. 

(For  Fishing,  see  Roth,  1924,  pp.  189-201 ;  Koch-Grunberg,  1921,  pp. 
242-257;  Nordenskiold,  1924  b,  pp.  86-102,  maps,  8-11;  1922,  pp. 

The  habits  of  fish  in  the  upper  Rio  Negro  country  locally  necessitate 
an  adaptive  nomadism.  Though  the  Indians  of  the  Caiari-Vaupes  dis- 
trict with  its  abundant  supply  throughout  the  year  can  afiford  stability, 
the  minor  streams  elsewhere  dry  up  from  December  to  March,  so  that 
the  fish  retreat  to  the  main  rivers  and  the  natives  must  follow  suit,  ex- 
ploiting one  locality  after  another  until  even  larger  species  ascend  the 
tributaries.  For  the  3-month  migratory  period  the  Indians  provide  them- 
selves with  basketfuls  of  large  dried  manioc  cakes. 

Food  preparation. — The  preparation  of  manioc  cakes  and  pellets  has 
already  been  sketched.  After  the  starchy  sediment  of  the  expressed 
juice  has  settled,  the  water  is  poured  oflF  and  boiled  for  several  hours 
with  peppers,  being  thus  thickened  into  "cassarip."  This  somewhat 
acid  broth  may  receive  additions  such  as  meat,  small  fish,  or  even  ants. 
All  animal  food  is  boiled  with  water  or  cassarip,  yielding  the  character- 
istic "pepper  pot,"  meat  being  thus  boiled  daily  by  way  of  preserving  it. 

Typical  is  the  baking  and  smoke-drying  of  meat  or  fish,  which  would 
rapidly  spoil  in  the  humid  climate,  on  a  "babracot,"  i.e.,  a  three-  or  four- 
legged  stage  (fig.  1,  d,  e;  pi.  117,  bottom,  right).  On  the  Orinoco,  sun- 
dried  fish  are  pulverized  without  removal  of  the  bones,  mixed  with  water, 
and  reduced  to  a  paste.  In  the  same  region  a  turtle  would  be  placed  in 
a  pit  in  the  ground  and  covered  with  sand,  a  big  fire  being  lit  on  top. 
In  Guiana  and  on  the  Amazon  quantities  of  turtle  eggs  are  placed  on 
frames  and  dried  over  a  slow  fire  or  in  the  sun.  The  oil  is  extracted  by 
trampling  the  eggs  in  a  canoe  and  skimming  it  ofif  the  top.  It  is  used 
for  anointment,  cooking,  and  lighting,  and  is  a  favorite  article  of  barter. 

For  mealing  there  are  wooden  pestles  and  mortars,  the  latter  being 
sunk  into  the  ground  in  Guiana  and  elsewhere  so  that  only  a  few  inches 
project  above  ground  (pi.  8,  bottom).  The  pestle,  which  has  an  ill- 
defined  head,  is  here  used  with  a  grinding  rather  than  stamping  movement. 

Vol.  3] 



Figure  1. — Tropical  Forest  crafts,  a,  Mojo  pottery  grinder  and  mano;  h,  Chimane 
wood  slab  and  stone  mano ;  c,  Chacoho  wooden  trough  and  block  for  food  grinding ; 
d,  Bacdiri  babracot;  e,  Chacoho  babracot.  (After  Nordenskiold,  1924  b,  maps 
16,  15.) 

653333 — 47—4 

16  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  former  use  of  stone  querns,  pestles,  and  mortars  is  proved  by 
museum  specimens  in  British  Guiana  (Roth,  1924,  pi.  82).  Nearer  the 
Andes,  a  wooden  grinding  trough  (fig.  1,  c)  is  used  instead  of  the  mortar, 
but  a  flat  stone  slab  (fig.  1,  b)  is  employed  by  the  Chimane.  Pottery 
grinders  (fig.  1,  a)  have  been  found  archeologically  in  the  Province  of 

Women  boil  food,  men  bake  or  broil  it. 

For  griddles,  naturally  split  slabs  of  granite  and  gneiss  have  been 
used  even  in  recent  times.  More  commonly  the  stoves  are  of  clay  and 
rest  on  blocks  of  the  same  material  (pi.  90,  center).  Pots  are  similarly 
put  either  on  stones  arranged  tripod-fashion  or  on  three  clay  cylinders. 

Salt,  though  comparatively  rare,  is  imported  from  other  regions  or 
obtained  directly  from  saline  incrustations  in  the  savanna  and  from  the 
ashes  of  certain  palms  (Roth,  1924,  p.  221  et  seq.). 

There  are  usually  two  main  meals,  in  the  morning  and  evening,  respec- 
tively.   Husband  and  wife  in  general  eat  separately. 

Geophagy  occurs  in  the  area,  e.g.,  commonly  in  the  Jurua-Purus  region. 
The  Caripii'na  of  Bolivia  eat  a  salty  earth. 


Dwellings  and  other  structures. — The  mode  of  settlement  varies. 
Some  houses  are  designed  to  accommodate  single  families,  others  to  hold 
many  families  (pis.  30,  top;  81,  bottom;  126).  One  structure  of  either 
type  may  constitute  a  village,  or  several  may  be  scattered  in  near  proximity 
to  one  another  or  grouped  to  form  a  compact  hamlet  (pi.  106,  bottom). 

Possibly  a  thousand  Yuracare  are  spread  over  an  enormous  silvan  tract, 
along  the  Chimore  River  and  other  affluents  of  the  Mamore  River,  one 
or  two  families  living  by  themselves,  often  miles  from  their  neighbors. 
The  primeval  forest  virtually  starts  at  the  rear  walls  of  their  dwellings, 
which  are  usually  on  sites  affording  at  least  provisional  security  from 
periodic  inundations.  Characteristic  of  many  groups  in  the  culture  area 
is  the  large  communal  house  of,  say,  20  to  70  residents  (Yecuana  and 
Giiinau)  ;  Tupari  (Guapore  River)  houses  are  said  to  shelter  up  to  35 
families,  A  Tupinamba  village  consists  of  4  to  8  houses,  each  accommo- 
dating 30  to  200  families.  Often  a  single  structure,  or  a  pair  of  this  type, 
accommodates  the  entire  population  (Aiari  River).  Here,  too,  safety 
from  the  annual  overflowing  of  the  banks  determines  the  choice  of  a  site, 
which  is  also  selected  for  proximity  to  potable  creek  water  and  for  the 
fertility  of  the  soil.  Elsewhere  other  motives  occur,  such  as  security  from 
attack  or  even  availability  of  potter's  clay  (in  Surinam),  some  Carib 
tribes  allegedly  clinging  to  the  edge  of  savannas  for  the  latter  reason. 
The  Palicur  put  up  small  clusters  of  habitations  on  safe  forested  islands 
rising  from  the  savanna  or  on  the  savanna  itself.  Waterways  connect  one 
hut  with  another,  but  become  unnavigable  or  even  dry  in  midsummer, 


SO  that  visitors  must  cross  series  of  long  logs  embedded  in  the  mud.  Along 
the  Amazon  River,  Carvajal  observed  in  1542  that  the  houses  formed  an 
almost  continuous  village. 

Genuine  villages  are  not  wholly  lacking  even  where  normally  the  people 
live  in  one  or  two  houses.  Thus,  the  Macushi  developed  an  original  hamlet 
of  two  dwellings  into  an  aggregation  of  12,  ranged  in  two  streets,  though 
this  enlarged  settlement,  partly  due  to  missionary  influence,  was  reserved 
for  festive  use.  The  Guarani  set  four  or  eight  rectangular  houses  round 
a  central  square  plaza,  with  a  double  or  even  triple  stockade  enclosing 
the  hamlet.  Palisades  are  also  attested  for  the  Tupinamha  (figs.  6,  top; 
11,  top;  12,  lejt),  the  Guarani,  Tuhi-Catvahih,  and  for  some  of  the  Guiana 
Arawak  and  Carib  tribes. 

The  two  main  types  of  dwellings  differ  according  to  their  round  or 
oblong  group  plan.  Nordenskiold  (1924  b,  3:24  et  seq.)  suspected  the 
aboriginal  character  of  rectangular  houses  outside  the  Andean  region. 
Unquestionably  right  in  contending  that  many  native  groups  rapidly 
adopted  the  rectangular  plan  of  White  neighbors,  he  seems  to  have  gone 
too  far,  for  (Friederici,  1925,  p.  53)  there  are  sundry  unexceptionable 
early  references  to  oblong  houses,  e.g.,  near  the  Yapura  confluence. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  several  types  must  be  distinguished.  The  Palicur 
anciently  occupied  beehive  huts  with  walls  and  roof  merging;  a  low  en- 
trance was  closed  at  night  in  order  to  exclude  mosquitoes.  Another  form, 
shared  by  Arawakan  and  Cariban  groups,  has  palm-leaf  thatch  covering 
two  rows  of  elastic  rods  bent  over  to  yield  a  pointed  arch.  Widespread 
(Taulipdng,  Wapishana,  early  Mojo,  etc.)  is  a  conical  roof  on  a  cylin- 
drical substructure,  which  either  remains  unenclosed  or  is  walled  with 
bark,  wood,  leaves,  or  mud,  all  these  variations  sometimes  occurring 
within  the  same  tribe.  When  small,  such  huts  have  a  single,  low  entrance ; 
otherwise  there  will  be  two  doors  on  opposite  sides,  reserved  for  men 
and  women,  respectively.  An  important  variant  results  when  two  or 
even  three  posts  connected  by  a  small  ridge  pole  take  the  place  of  the 
single  post  terminating  in  the  apex  of  the  cone.  The  ground  plan  thus 
grows  somewhat  elliptical.  However,  one  or  even  both  gables  may  be 
made  straight  instead  of  rounded.  Thus,  there  is  a  genetic  tie  between 
the  circular  and  the  rectangular  forms.  Indeed,  on  the  Vaupes  River,  where 
Wallace  saw  houses  semicircular  in  the  back  but  otherwise  parallelo- 
grams in  outline,  Koch-Grunberg  found  a  wholly  rectangular  ground 
plan.  Some  of  these  houses  are  immense,  one  described  by  Wallace  being 
115  feet  (34'.5  m.)  long,  75  feet  (22.5  m.)  wide,  and  30  feet  (9.1  m.) 
in  height  and  regularly  inhabited  by  about  100  persons,  with  three  or 
four  times  that  number  on  festive  occasions.  The  doors  are  regularly  on 
the  gable  sides. 

Among  the  simplest  habitations  of  the  area  are  those  of  the  semi- 
nomadic  Nambictmra,  who  most  of  the  year  content  themselves  in  the 

18  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

wind-screens  (pi.  37,  center,  left),  resorting  to  palm-thatched  beehive 
huts  (pi.  37,  top,  left)  during  the  rainy  season,  and  of  the  Pirahd,  who 
make  only  temporary,  flimsy  shelters. 

Pile  dwellings  are  found  among  various  tribes,  especially  in  Guiana 
and  vicinity,  not  only  on  the  coast  or  in  the  swampy  Warrau  country,  but 
also  far  in  the  interior,  on  dry  and  even  hilly  terrain.  Koch-Griinberg 
(1923  a,  3  :  23)  and  Nordenskiold  (1920,  p.  4  f.)  suggest  that  these  struc- 
tures are  survivals  from  a  period  when  their  builders  inhabited  swampy  or 
coastal  districts.    Granaries  on  piles  occur  among  the  Chiriguano. 

The  impermanence  of  settlement  in  a  particular  locality  is  usually 
owing  to  the  exhaustion  of  the  soil,  but  also  to  disease  and  death, 
especially  that  of  a  chief.  Hence,  the  population  of  a  tract  cannot  be 
directly  determined  by  the  number  of  house  sites. 

Furniture. — From  the  time  of  Columbus'  second  voyage  the  hammock 
(pis.  101,  right;  107,  bottom),  first  noted  in  Santo  Domingo  as  a  regular 
contrivance  for  sleeping,  has  loomed  as  diagnostic  of  the  Forest  culture 
at  its  core,  contrasting  with  the  marginal  Namhicuara  custom  of  sleeping 
on  the  ground  and  the  platform  bed  of  the  Ge  and  of  the  Montafia  (figs. 
88,  91,  102).  The  hammock  has,  however,  spread  widely  within  historic 
times,  being  adopted  for  repose  during  the  day  rather  than  for  sleeping 
at  night  (p.  833).  It  is  made  of  cotton,  ite  (Mauritia),  tucum,  and  other 

Another  household  article  is  a  low  stool  or  bench  carved  from  one 
solid  block  (pi.  93,  bottom;  figs.  19,  122),  frequently  in  the  shape  of  an 
animal.  The  height  may  be  over  1  foot  (30.5  cm.)  but  sometimes  does 
not  exceed  3  inches  (8  cm.).  Special  decorations  appear  on  the  shaman's 
settee.  Simpler  are  the  plain  tripod  stools  cut  from  a  root  or  a  forked 
branch  with  little  alteration  of  the  natural  growth. 

Utensils  comprise  gourd  bottles  for  drinking  water  and  larger  ones 
for  fermented  beverages;  calabashes;  wooden  troughs  in  the  west;  vari- 
ous clay  vessels;  mats;  diverse  baskets  and  basketry  strainers  (pi.  117, 
bottom,  left).  The  finer  treasure  baskets  rest  on  crossbeams,  which  may 
also  support  drinking  gourds  in  bunches,  carrying  baskets,  etc.,  some- 
times suspended  from  hooks.  The  only  illumination  is  from  the  family 
fireplaces  at  night  and  from  whatever  light  penetrates  the  narrow  en- 
trance but  for  special  occasions  torches  are  made  from  a  lump  of  rosin 
glued  to  the  tip  of  a  firebrand. 

Three  stones  or  clay  cylinders  serve  as  a  tripod  for  the  cooking  vessels 
in  the  Orinoco  and  Vaupes  River  country. 


Roads. — ^True  roads  are  often  wanting  in  the  forest  region,  where  the 
traveler  breaks  branches  to  guide  him.  Between  Berbice  and  Essequibo 
the  trail  was  barely  12  inches  (30.5  cm.)  wide  and  marked  by  notches 


in  the  trees.  In  descending  walls  of  rock,  crude  ladders  are  sometimes 
made  of  rungs  lashed  to  poles.  Leaves  and  spars  provide  a  sort  of  cause- 
way over  swampy  or  muddy  ground.  The  Mojo  or  their  predecessors 
built  up  long  causeways,  each  paralleled  by  a  ditch  or  canal  (p.  416).  In 
Palicur  country  the  waterways  become  unpassable  in  midsummer,  hence 
long  tree  trunks  are  laid  end  to  end  in  the  mire  to  afford  transit. 

In  the  upper  Rio  Negro  country  the  Indians  frequently  pass  from  one 
river  to  another  by  following  traditional  trails  affording  an  easy  portage. 
Thus,  the  Tiquie  River  is  connected  with  the  Papury  and  even  with  the 
Yapura  River  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  171-172). 

Bridges. — Bridges  are  simple,  typically  consisting  of  a  tree  of  suitable 
height  chopped  to  fall  across  the  water  and  provided  with  a  handrail. 
The  Guaharibo  build  more  complex  bridges  (p.  863). 


Clothing. — Originally  the  natives  mostly  went  naked  (pi.  6),  as  early 
17th-century  observers  noted  for  both  sexes  along  the  Oyapock  River. 
A  penis  sheath  or  other  cover,  rather  accentuating  than  removing  the 
impression  of  nakedness,  is  widespread  (Nordenskiold,  1924  b,  p.  147 
et  seq.,  map  19).  Among  the  Cubeo  and  their  neighbors  in  the  Caiari- 
Vaupes  region,  women  wear  a  tiny  rectangular  apron  suspended  from 
a  cord  of  white  beads  (pi.  104).  The  men  content  themselves  with  a 
perineal  band  of  red  bast.  On  the  lower  Apaporis  River  a  wide  and  long 
girdle  of  white  bast  is  wrapped  tight  around  the  abdomen  and  fastened 
with  a  black  strip  of  bast  (pi.  104)  ;  and  a  girdle-cord  supports  a  kilt  of 
narrow  bast  strips  descending  to  the  feet.  Usually  part,  and  sometimes 
all,  of  the  strips  are  pulled  through  between  the  legs  and  secured  behind 
under  the  girdle,  but  those  who  wear  the  bast  jock-strap  customary  on 
the  Caiari  River  allow  the  kilt  to  hang  down  unconfined  (Koch-Griin- 
berg, 1921,  pp.  271,  380). 

When  traveling  over  rocky  tracts,  savanna  dwellers  quickly  make  for 
themselves  sandals  from  the  bases  of  Mauritia  leaves,  the  string  being 
from  the  fiber  of  the  leaves  of  this  palm.  More  durable,  but  harder  are 
equivalents  of  deer  and  tapir  hide. 

The  paucity  of  clothes  markedly  contrasts  with  the  profusion  of  bodily 

Probably  owing  to  Andean  influence,  the  tribes  of  the  western  periphery 
of  the  area  wear  more  complete  garments — the  cushma  of  the  Montafia 
(pi.  49,  bottom)  and  the  tipoy  of  Bolivia. 

Featherwork. — Feather  crowns  were  mainly  of  two  types,  according 
to  whether  the  frame  was  fixed  vertically  or  horizontally  like  the  brim 
of  a  European  hat,  with  the  feathers  inserted  between  its  double  edges 
and  projecting  in  the  same  plane  (Roth,  1924,  p.  429  et  seq.,  pi.  137). 
The  foundation  of  the  vertical  type  is  a  ring-shaped  band  with  projecting 

20  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

rim  above  and  often  below  also ;  this  band  is  basketwork,  typically  twilled. 
The  feathers,  fixed  in  rows  on  cotton  twine,  were  woven  into  a  cotton 
band  tied  behind  and  supported  in  upright  position  by  a  cotton  fillet 
sewed  to  them  in  front.  The  Mojo,  anciently  noted  for  feather  mosaics 
that  realistically  represented  animals  and  men,  still  make  impressive 
feather  crowns  (Nordenskiold,  1924  b,  p.  205  f . ;  1922,  pis.  27,  28). 

There  are  likewise  feather  frontlets,  collars,  and  cloaks  for  men  (see 
pi.  123)  ;  and  at  festivals  the  participants  have  small  feathers  or  down 
glued  on  their  body  (Roth,  1924,  p.  425). 

The  Chiriguano  came  to  supplant  feather  ornaments  with  frontlets  of 
Andean  type  displaying  metal  plaques. 

Tattoo. — Complete  tattooing  is  not  widespread,  but  seems  authenticated 
for  the  Cariban  Trio,  the  Yuracare,  Shipaya,  and  the  Mitndnrncn  (p.  275 ; 
also  Spix  and  Martins,  1823-31,  3:  1312).  The  last  had  half  ellipses 
on  the  face,  with  many  parallel  lines  descending  over  the  chin  to  the  chest, 
which  was  ornamented  with  diamonds  while  the  back  also  bore  designs. 
But  forearms  of  Wapishana  and  TaiiUpdng  women  have  been  tattooed  in 
recent  decades,  and  facial  tattoo  with  conspicuous  curvilinear  patterns, 
often  of  fishhook  shape,  was  common.  The  pigment,  sometimes  mixed 
with  honey,  was  injected  with  a  palm  spine,  the  lancetlike  fang  of  a  certain 
fish,  or  a  fishbone.  Among  the  Tupinamba  and  many  other  tribes  both 
sexes  tattooed. 

In  the  Roraima  region  tattoo  is  associated  with  puberty  and  has  magical 

Nordenskiold  (1919  a,  p.  120)  has  suggested  that  tattoo  and  genipa 
paint  are  negatively  correlated. 

Painting. — Body  and  face  paint  (pis.  85,  86,  88)  are  widespread,  the 
most  common  pigments  being  red  urucu  derived  from  the  seeds  of  Bixa 
orellana  and  bluish-black  genipa  from  the  fruit  of  the  Genipa  americana; 
both  species  are  cultivated  by  the  natives.  These  pigments  occur  beyond 
the  Tropical  Forest  culture,  being  popular  among  the  Ge  and  traded  into 
the  Chaco.  Another  widely  diffused  pigment  is  carayuru,  obtained  by 
fermenting  the  leaves  of  Bignonia  chica  or  boiling  the  water  in  which 
they  are  soaked.  Genipa  designs  remain  indelible  for  9  days  and  more, 
which  has  led  travelers  to  confound  them  with  tattooing.  Pigments  may 
be  applied  for  prophylactic  as  well  as  esthetic  purposes  (Roth  1924,  p. 
88  et  seq.). 

In  the  Roraima  country  the  designs  vary  greatly  and,  apart  from 
facial  decoration,  are  executed  by  the  women.  Elaborate  geometrical 
patterns  appear,  but  also  realistic  representations  of  birds  and  mammals, 
as  well  as  highly  conventional  forms  of  dubious  significance  (Koch- 
Griinberg,  1923,  3:  40-45).  The  Guarani  and  Yuracare  apply  body 
paint  with  a  stamp  (fig.  66,  a,  c,  d). 


Miscellaneous  ornaments. — An  indefinite  number  of  decorative  de- 
vices occur,  some  being  shared  with  other  regions.  Besides  finger  rings 
suspected  of  Negro  or  White  origin  and  the  feather  decoration  (p.  19), 
there  are  labrets  for  the  lower  Hp  (as  many  as  a  dozen  among  the 
Mayoruna  (pi.  51),  whence  their  name,  Barbudo)  ;  nose  sticks;  earplugs; 
crowns  and  frontlets ;  necklaces  and  chest  ornaments  of  teeth,  claws,  or 
seeds ;  armlets  of  palm  leaf,  bark,  beaded  string,  or  cotton ;  bracelets  of 
bark,  feathers,  or  seeds;  belts  of  basketwork,  cotton  bands,  fruit  shells, 
or  hair ;  and  leg  ornaments.  The  calves  of  Carib  women's  legs  are  thrown 
into  relief  by  pairs  of  tight-fitting  bands  of  woven  cotton  around  the 
knees  and  ankles  respectively,  as  noted  on  Columbus'  voyages.  (See 
pi.  38.) 

Along  the  Rio  Negro  affluents,  men  generally  wear  quartz  cylinders  as 
neck  pendants.  These  cylinders,  about  4  to  6  inches  (10  to  15  cm.)  long 
and  an  inch  (2.5  cm.)  in  diameter,  are  worn  from  a  cord  of  palm  fiber 
on  which  glossy,  black  seeds  have  been  strung.  (Roth,  1924,  pp.  412-49; 
Koch-Grtinberg,  1921,  pp.  205  f.) 

Ornaments  of  gold  and  silver  were  reported  from  the  Amazon  (p.  694) 
and  from  tribes  in  contact  with  the  Andean  civilizations.  So  was  arti- 
ficial deformation  of  the  head  (p.  694). 


Carrying  devices. — For  carrying  minor  utensils  there  are  various 
pouches,  such  as  a  small  bark  sack  for  coca  and  paint  and  a  flat  mat 
satchel.  On  the  Apaporis  River  the  men  carry  their  fire  apparatus, 
scarifying  implement,  and  sundries  in  a  rectangular  bag  knitted  of  palm- 
fiber  string  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  384).  Throughout  most  of  the 
area  both  sexes  transport  heavy  loads  in  a  basketry  knapsack  resting 
against  the  back  and  supported  by  a  plaited  tumpline  passing  above 
rather  than  across  the  forehead  (pi.  121,  top,  right)  ;  the  bearer  relieves 
the  pressure  by  thrusting  his  arms  through  lateral  loops,  which  may  be 
temporarily  used  to  the  exclusion  of  the  head  band  in  order  to  rest  the 
neck  and  head.  The  carrying  net,  so  popular  in  the  Chaco,  is  generally 
lacking  but  appears  among  the  Guarani  in  the  extreme  south,  where,  how- 
ever, skin  bags  seem  to  have  preceded  it. 

Infants  are  carried  in  a  cotton  baby  sling  made  after  the  same  pattern 
as  hammocks.  The  sling  passes  over  the  mother's  right  shoulder  (pi.  26, 
hft)  and  is  pushed  rearward  by  a  woman  when  working  in  her  planta- 
tion so  that  the  child  is  then  supported  on  her  back. 

Boats. — Transportation  by  water  is  diagnostic  of  the  culture  at  its  core, 
especially  in  contrast  to  the  Ge  of  eastern  Brazil  (Handbook,  vol.  2),  but 
many  tribes  living  either  between  navigable  rivers  or  on  small  streams  at 
the  headwaters  of  the  main  rivers  lacked  any  craft.  Thus,  the  Shiriand, 
Waica,  Guaharibo,  and  Curicuriari  River  Macu,  many  tribes  of  the  upper 

22  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B,A.E.  Bull.  143 

Napo  and  Putumayo  Rivers  and  elsewhere  along  the  eastern  slopes  of 
the  Andes,  the  Mane,  and  the  Nambicuara  had  no  canoes.  They  crossed 
watercourses  on  logs  or  by  swimming;  some  of  the  tribes  constructed 
rafts.  Many  tribes  which  aboriginally  lacked  canoes,  having  kept  away 
from  rivers  to  avoid  the  strong,  hostile  tribes  living  along  them,  adopted 
canoes  when  White  penetration  brought  peace  to  their  country,  and  when 
steel  axes  became  available  to  facilitate  canoe  construction. 

In  general,  Indians  not  only  utilized  natural  waterways,  but  also  skill- 
fully dragged  their  craft  over  rapids.  Further,  where  the  several  tribu- 
taries of  a  river  or  the  affluents  of  distinct  systems  approach  one  another, 
the  natives  have  established  traditional  land  routes  or  portages  to  eke 
out  the  connection  by  water.  Finally,  the  Casiquiare  River  (pi.  5,  top, 
right  and  bottom)  links  the  upper  Rio  Negro,  hence  the  Amazon,  with 
the  Orinoco  River.  Given  the  Indians'  skill  in  coping  with  swift  water 
and  other  obstructions,  one  easily  understands  the  wide  diffusion  of 
many  traits  characteristic  of  the  area  not  merely  over  the  mainland,  but 
even  to  the  Antilles.  Amazing  similarities  between  these  islands  and  in- 
terior districts  (Santarem)  have  been  emphasized  by  Nimuendaju,  Nor- 
denskiold,  and  Palmatary  (1939). 

The  crafts  used  include  simple  rafts,  often  made  of  very  light  balsa 
wood  (pi.  71;  fig.  95,  a),  dugouts  (fig.  67),  and  bark  canoes  (figs.  56; 
95,  b;  123). 

After  felling  and  rough-hewing  a  tree  for  a  dugout,  the  Indians  orig- 
inally applied  fire  at  the  top,  gradually  burning  out  the  wood  to  an  even 
thickness,  then  filling  the  hollow  with  water,  and  at  the  same  time  keep- 
ing up  a  gentle  fire  outside.  In  order  further  to  widen  the  boat,  they 
might  insert  crossbeams  (pi.  94,  top).  A  tvpical  specimen  measured 
33  ft.  (10  m.)  in  length,  21  in.  (53  cm.)  in  width,  and  14  in.  (35  cm.) 
in  depth.  On  the  Guiana  coast,  dugouts  had  a  plank  added  along  the 
side  to  form  a  gunwale.  On  long  journeys  a  tent  is  added  to  protect 
the  goods.  Such  substances  as  the  bruised  sapwood  of  the  Brazil-nut 
tree  (Bertholletia  excelsa)  serve  for  calking.  Square  sails  of  cotton, 
palm-leaf  matting,  or  laths  split  from  the  leaf  stalk  of  Maiiritia  were 

Bark  canoes  (pis.  6,  right;  27;  32)  occur  among  some  tribes  of  the 
Amazon  Basin  and  the  Guianas,  where  they  are  generally  restricted  to 
shallow  water  on  the  upper  reaches  of  the  streams.  On  the  Berbice 
River  the  Indians  generally  make  a  single  piece  of  the  purpleheart  (Pel- 
tngyne  purpurea)  bark  into  a  canoe,  and  other  trees  are  used  elsewhere 
for  the  same  purpose.  A  "wood-skin"  of  this  type,  which  may  be  as 
long  as  25  to  30  ft.  (7.5  to  9.1  m.),  holds  3  men  with  their  baggage. 
Easily  capsized,  this  craft  has  compensatory  advantages — floating  where 


an  ordinary  dugout  could  not  pass,  and  being  easily  carried  on  the  head 
over  a  portage. 

In  very  shallow  water  the  Indians  pole  their  boats;  otherwise  they 
propel  them  with  paddles  having  leaf-shaped  or  circular  blades  and  usually 
a  crescentic  handle. 


Bark  cloth. — One  center  for  bark  cloth  lies  in  northwestern  Bolivia 
(Nordenskiold,  1924  b,  p.  208  et  seq.,  maps  28  and  30)  ;  another  among 
the  Tucanoans,  Zaparoans,  Jivaro,  and  Arawak  of  the  upper  Amazon. 
The  industry  characterizes  none  of  the  three  major  stocks  of  our  area, 
but  rather  such  marginal  groups  as  the  Witoto  (pi.  83),  Tucano,  Campa, 
Yuracare,  and  Chacoho.  The  inner  layer  of  the  Ficus  bark  usually  pro- 
vides the  material,  which  is  beaten  out  with  a  grooved  mallet.  (See  pi. 
94,  bottom;  p.  779.)  Among  the  Yuracare  this  craft  is  vital,  producing 
men's  and  women's  shirts,  which  are  stamped  with  painted  designs ;  baby 
slings ;  pouches ;  and  mosquito  nets.  Bast  shirts  are  also  typical  of  mas- 
culine dress  among  the  Chacoho  (Nordenskiold,  1922,  pp.  60,  94,  95). 
The  Tucano  use  bark  cloth  for  mummers'  masks  and  costumes  and  for 
images  (pi.  64). 

Basketry. — The  Shiriana,  Waica,  Caraja,  and  Guaharibo  make  only 
twined  baskets,  perhaps  a  survival  of  the  earliest  technique.  (For  twining 
technique,  see  pi.  95,  bottom,  right.)  Twilling  (pi.  95,  bottom,  left)  and 
latticework  (fig.  2)  are  very  widespread.     For  Guiana  are  recorded  such 

Figure  2. — Tropical  Forest  basketwork  of  lattice  type,  a,  Common  hexagonal  weave 
of  Amazon  Basin;  b,  special  lattice  weave  of  Mate  Grosso.  (After  Nordenskiold, 
1924  b,  map  27.) 

additional  techniques  as  checker,  wrapping,  and  imbrication.  (Koch- 
Grunberg,  1921,  pp.  340-342;  1923,  3:  80-85;  Roth,  1924,  pp.  137-143, 
281-380;  Gillin,  1936,  p.  51  et  seq.)  Vines,  palms,  and  other  tropical 
species  furnish  ideal  materials  for  this  industry.  The  nibi  vine  (Carlu- 
dovica  trigona)   is  split  in  half,  then  the  convex  outer  surface  is  split 

24  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

off  from  each  piece,  yielding  a  flat,  ribbonlike,  flexible,  and  tough  strip, 
which  is  scraped  with  a  knife. 

Basketry  articles  (pi.  22)  include  mats,  satchels,  trays,  creels,  oblong 
basketry  boxes  with  lids,  two-piece  telescoping  containers,  carrying 
baskets  (pi.  6,  left,  bottom)  manioc  presses,  and  fans.  Some  utensils 
are  in  openwork,  others  closely  woven,  but  in  either  case  they  can  be 
waterproofed  with  broad  leaves  or  pitch,  the  latter  attested  for  Ama- 
zonian tribes  by  Acuna  (1641). 

It  is  noteworthy  that  basketry  is  a  masculine  industry. 

The  remarkable  esthetic  effects  attained  in  basketry  are  treated  under 
Art  (p.  39). 

Weaving  and  cordage. — Since  major  garments  are  as  a  rule  lacking, 
loom  work  includes  mainly  hammocks,  baby  slings,  anklets,  fillets,  waist 
bands,  and  the  like.  (See  Roth,  1924,  pp.  92-118,  381-411.)  Complete 
clothing — the  tipoy,  cushma,  and,  in  some  tribes,  the  poncho — is  woven 
only  near  the  Andes.  In  the  eastern  part  of  our  area,  cotton  predominates, 
though  not  to  the  exclusion  of  other  materials.  It  is  grown  somewhat 
less  on  the  upper  Amazon  and  its  tributaries ;  in  the  Rio  Negro  region, 
it  is  either  lacking  or  little  cultivated,  and  a  term  for  the  species  is  absent 
from  the  Arawakan  dialects  there  (Nimuendaju,  personal  communica- 
tion). Even  among  tribes  which  cultivate  cotton,  there  is  sometimes  a 
preference  for  wild  fibers,  which  often  better  withstand  heat  and  moisture. 
Favorite  materials  for  thread  are  the  fibers  of  burity  palm  (Mauritia 
flexuosa),  from  which  a  very  fine  cloth  called  cachibanco  is  made ;  jauary 
palm  (Astrocaryum  jauary)  ;  curaua  (Bromeliaceae)  ;  embira  (Coura- 
tari  sp.)  ;  tucum  (the  fiber  of  several  palms  called  tucuma)  ;  Cecropia; 
and  other  wild  species.  On  the  upper  Tiquie  River,  men  make  balls  of 
tough  cordage  and  trade  them  to  alien  tribes  against  curare. 

True  loom  weaving  has  a  high,  though  incomplete,  correlation  with 
cotton.  Probably  the  distinctive  type,  called  "cincture,"  or  vertical  loom 
(M.  Schmidt,  1914,  4:  214),  is  one  consisting  of  two  uprights  perforated 
top  and  bottom  to  permit  the  insertion  of  cross  beams  around  which  the 
parallel  warp  threads  are  looped,  the  anterior  and  posterior  ones  being 
separated  by  a  movable  rod,  while  a  thinner  stick  divides  the  even  and 
odd  threads  (during  the  process  of  manufacture).  When  the  fabric 
is  complete,  it  forms  a  ring.  (Fig.  3;  pi.  115,  top;  also  Nordenskiold, 
1919  a,  p.  204  et  seq. ;  1920,  p.  174  et  seq.).  This  loom  is  found  in  the 
Guianas,  west  to  the  Rio  Negro,  and  south  to  the  Yuracare  of  Bolivia. 
As  it  is  common  to  several  linguistic  families,  including  the  Cariban, 
Max  Schmidt's  characterization  of  it  as  "Arazvak"  seems  premature. 
Bordering  the  Andes,  many  tribes  use  a  horizontal  loom,  the  "belt  loom" 
being  most  common.  One  end  of  the  loom  is  attached  to  a  tree  or  house 
post,  the  other  to  the  weaver's  belt. 

Vol.  3] 



Lacking  a  loom,  tribes  such  as  the  Tucanoans,  Witotoans,  and  most 
of  the  Tupl  including  the  Tupinamba,  finger  weave,  producing  a  twined 
fabric.  Netting  is  restricted  to  the  southern  tribes.  On  the  upper  Xingu, 
netted  hammocks  and  carrying  bags  as  well  as  fish  nets  occur  along  with 
a  twined  and  a  true  weave. 

Figure  3. — Loom  for  manufacture  of  thick  hammocks.    Upper  Rio  Negro  country, 
Colombia.   (After  Koch-Grunberg,  1906  a.) 

Pottery. — Pottery  is  general,  but  by  no  means  universally  manufac- 
tured, earthenware  being  widely  exported  from  centers  of  production. 
The  Eastern  Nambicuara  completely  lack  the  industry,  and  their  congeners 
make  very  coarse  ware.  To  some  extent  the  industry  naturally  depends 
on  the  availability  of  good  clay.  The  view  that  the  Arawakans,  unless 
checked  by  lack  of  such  material,  are  uniformly  the  donors  remains  an 
improbable  hypothesis  (Linne,  1925,  pp.  162-169).  In  eastern  Peru,  for 
example,  Arawakan  ware  is  definitely  inferior  to  Pcmoan  or  Tupian 
(pp.  577-578) ,  and  there  is  at  present  no  basis  for  assigning  the  advanced 
Marajo  and  Santarem  ceramics  to  the  Arawakans.  It  is  only  in  a  few 
centers,  such  as  the  upper  Rio  Xingii  country,  that  the  Arawak  have  a 
monopoly  of  pottery  making;  and  if  the  Arawak  introduced  elaborate 
wares  to  eastern  Bolivia,  there  is  no  proof  that  they  did  so  elsewhere. 

As  a  rule,  women  make  earthenware,  but  among  the  Yecuana  and 
Guinau,  the  industry  is  wholly  masculine  (Koch-Griinberg,  1923  a,  3 : 


For  tempering,  the  use  of  sand,  shell,  and  pounded  sherds  is  rare 
within  the  area.  Very  distinctive,  on  the  other  hand,  is  the  addition  of 
the  ashes  from  siliceous  bark  (Amazon  Basin,  Orinoco,  and  Guiana), 
reasonably  assumed  to  have  supplanted  the  earlier,  less  efifective  use  of 
sand.  The  proportion  of  bark  and  clay  varies,  presumably  with  the 
consistency  of  the  clay,  which  on  the  banks  of  the  Amazon  would  be 
unserviceable  without  a  siliceous  admixture.  The  Amazon  and  its  afifluents 
form  the  center  for  the  addition  of  burnt  and  crushed  sponges  found  on 
the  roots  of  riparian  trees,  the  spicules  greatly  strengthening  the  material, 
as  proved  by  Santarem  ware  (Linne,  1925,  pp.  29-59). 

Coiling  (pi.  62,  bottom,  left),  the  most  widespread  technique,  is  il- 
lustrated by  the  Rio  Negro  tribes.  A  vessel  is  coiled,  smoothed  with  a 
bit  of  gourd,  and  finally  polished  with  a  pebble,  which  is  often  highly 
prized  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  344).  The  potter  next  dries  her  vessel 
for  several  days  indoors  and  then  for  an  equal  period  in  the  sun.  For 
firing,  she  inverts  the  pot  in  a  shallow  pit,  where  it  rests  on  a  few  stones, 
surrounds  it  with  light  wood  topped  with  dry  bark,  and  exposes  it  to 
a  strongly  concentrated  fire. 

Slip  seems  restricted  to  the  Marajo-Santarem  region  and  the  Montafia. 
Varnish,  made  of  rosin,  e.  g.,  from  Vismia  guianensis,  or  a  copal,  e.  g., 
from  the  courbaril  tree  {Hynienaea  courbaril),  is  applied  in  the  Amazon 
Basin,  and  especially  by  the  modern  Carih  in  Guiana.  Thus,  the  Barama 
Carib  use  a  certain  juice,  mildly  re-heating  the  vessel  so  that  the  gum 
melts  and  seeps  into  the  pores.  This  also  creates  a  glazed  appearance, 
which  vanishes  with  use.  The  Igana  Arawak  sprinkle  powdered  rosin 
or  the  milk  of  a  tree  over  the  painted  designs,  which  thus  assume  a 
glossy  varnish  on  firing.  (Pp.  155-159;  also  Linne,  1925,  pp.  141-154; 
Koch-Grunberg,  1921  p.  345;  Roth,  1924,  p.  133.) 

Painted  pottery  is  best  developed  on  the  Guiana  littoral,  on  Marajo 
Island,  on  the  Tapajoz  River,  in  the  upper  Rio  Negro  region,  and  in 
the  Montafia  and  Yungas  (pis.  15-18,  52;  figs.  16,  17,  36,  60,  73-75,  111, 
112).  The  Chiriguano  de  luxe  ware  is  outstanding  for  its  painted  decora- 
tion of  Andean  type,  whereas  utensils  merely  bear  fingerprint  decora- 
tion. Negative  painting  on  vessels  from  Rebordello,  on  the  lower  Amazon, 
is  noteworthy  (Linne,  1925,  p.  136).  Painted  vessels  naturally  are  re- 
served for  special  use — storage,  chicha  containers,  vessels  for  serving 
guests,  and  the  like.  Utility  ware  is  generally  plain  and  is  decorated, 
if  at  all,  with  incisions  and  fingernail  impressions.  Modeled  ware  is 
found  mainly  on  the  lower  Amazon,  e.  g.,  Marajo  (pp.  155-159),  where 
its  high  development  surpasses  what  might  be  expected  of  the  historic 
tribes.     It  also  occurs  on  the  Parana  River  (pi.  9). 

The  craftsmanship  in  our  area  is  indicated  by  the  variety  of  forms, 
especially  of  nonutilitarian  types.  Cooking  pots  and  water  containers 
are  widespread.     Roasting  pans,  with  elevated  margin,  and  plates  are 


well-developed  in  the  northwest  Amazon  region.  Vessels  of  unusual  size 
are  seen  in  chicha  jars;  these  range  from  3  to  4  feet  (1  to  1.3  m.)  in 
diameter  and  height  in  the  Montana,  to  3  feet  (1  m.)  high  and  7  to  10  feet 
(2  to  3  m.)  in  diameter  on  the  Rio  Negro,  where  manioc-pulp  bowls 
even  attain  a  diameter  of  10  to  14  feet  (3  to  4  m.).  The  modern  Palicur, 
though  no  longer  capable  of  the  fine  urns  of  their  ancestors,  still  make 
roasting  pans  for  manioc  flour,  large  drinking  vessels,  either  conical- 
bottomed  or  with  annular  stand,  double  drinking  vessels  with  a  connect- 
ing bar,  and  a  variety  of  clay  toys  representing  turtles  and  other  species 
(Nimuendaju,  1926,  pp.  41-47).  The  coast  of  Guiana  and  northern 
Brazil  generally  abounds  in  oddly  shaped  effigy  vessels  ana  in  grotesque 
appendages  of  vessels  (Roth,  1924,  pp.  134—136). 

Amazing  similarities  in  detail  prove  connections  between  Antillean  and 
Santarem  pottery  (Nimuendaju  reported  in  Nordenskiold,  1930  a). 

Gourds. — Calabashes  (Crescentia)  and  gourds  (Lagenaria)  are  of 
general  importance  as  dippers,  drinking  cups,  and  storage  vessels.  In 
the  Guapore  River  and  upper  Xingu  region,  where  pottery  is  crude, 
calabashes  abound  and  are  decorated  either  with  incised  or  pyrographic 
designs.  The  Barama  Carib  have  hemispherical  cups  and  containers 
closed  except  for  perforations  of  the  neck  or  shoulder.  The  fruit  is 
picked  when  completely  ripe,  the  shell  cut  according  to  the  intended 
purpose,  and  the  pap  removed,  sometimes  after  loosening  it  by  boiling  the 
whole  gourd.  The  calabash  is  then  dried  indoors  or  in  the  sun  until 
tough  and  hard.  The  gourd  may  be  coated  with  the  juice  applied  to 
pottery  but  lacks  decoration.  As  a  precaution  against  the  entrance  of 
insects,  one  gourd  is  inverted  over  the  mouth  of  another  or  the  opening 
is  plugged  with  clean  grass  (Gillin,  1936,  p.  49).  Other  Guiana  Indians, 
as  well  as  Amazon  and  Rio  Negro  tribes,  sometimes  embellish  gourds 
in  painting  or  incised  lines.  The  halved  calabash  of  the  Rio  Negro 
tribes  is  polished  brown  on  the  outside,  varnished  black  within,  and  some- 
times bears  incised  decoration  on  the  rim  or  the  entire  outer  surface 
(Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  347;  Roth,  1924,  pp.  301-03).  Pokerwork, 
though  ascribed  to  the  Kepikiriwat,  Tariana,  Macushi,  and  Wapishana, 
seems  rare  (Nordenskiold,  1919  a,  p.  225  f.).  Chiriguano  gourds  are 
artistically  embellished  with  painted,  incised,  or  pyrographic  designs. 

Miscellaneous. — Fire  making  is  generally  by  drilling  (pi.  117,  top; 
fig.  54).  Various  materials  serve  as  shaft  and  hearth;  and  the  Pomeroon 
Arawak  have  a  compound  shaft,  the  point  from  the  fruit  pedicel  of  a 
palm  being  too  short  so  that  it  has  to  be  tied  to  a  longer  stick.  Moss, 
the  debris  from  ant  collections,  cotton,  etc.,  serve  as  tinder.  To  save 
eflfort  the  Indians  keep  fires  burning,  even  carrying  smoldering  timber 
on  an  earthen  hearth  during  boat  trips.  The  Witoto  facts  are  dubious, 
one  authority  denying  to  them  any  fire  apparatus,  another  crediting  them 

28  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

with  a  percussion  technique,  still  another  with  drilling.  Fires  are  activated 
with  woven  (pi.  47,  top)  or  feather  fans  (fig.  78,  a). 

For  illumination  the  Guiana  tribes  have  candles  of  rubber  or  cotton 
thread  drawn  through  melted  beeswax,  or  substitute  gum  and  comparable 
materials  (Roth,  1924,  pp.  69-72). 

Rubber  is  probably  derived  from  Sapium  and  Hevea  species.  Apart 
from  use  in  ball  games,  it  serves  for  the  manufacture  of  rings  and  enema 
syringes.  The  Cayenne  Indians  boil  the  latex,  then  cover  clay  molds 
with  several  coatings  of  the  boiled  rubber,  incise  designs  on  it,  dry  it 
carefully  over  a  fire,  blacken  it  in  the  smoke,  and  finally  break  the  molds 
(Roth,  1924,  pp.  83-85;  Nordenskiold,  1930  c,  pp.  184-195). 

The  Guiana  Indians  procure  a  glue  from  the  gum  of  Moronobea 
coccinea,  cutting  into  the  trunk  to  make  a  yellowish  gum  exude,  which 
is  mixed  with  beeswax  and  powdered  charcoal.  It  is  either  allowed  to 
run  as  a  semiliquid  into  a  hollow  bamboo  or  to  harden  at  the  bottom  of 
a  pot.  This  material  serves  to  fasten  arrow  points,  wax  threads,  and 
fishing  lines,  calking,  etc.  The  whitish  resin  of  Mimusops  globosa  also 
helps  attach  dififerent  parts  of  an  arrow  and  the  stones  of  cassava  graters. 
Feathers  are  glued  to  the  body  with  various  gums  and  balsams,  which 
are  also  remedies  for  sores  and  other  ills. 

In  much  of  the  area  the  lack  or  rarity  of  stone  leads  to  the  use  of 
substitutes.  Arrowheads  are  of  wood,  bone,  and  sting-ray  spurs,  the 
occasionally  reported  stone  points  being  highly  suspect.  In  Guiana, 
knives  are  sometimes  of  quartz  and  perhaps  other  stones,  but  there  and 
elsewhere,  they  are  typically  of  bamboo,  fish  teeth,  etc.  Scrapers  are 
of  snail  shell,  the  lower  jaw  of  an  agouti,  slivers  of  rock  removed  in 
celt-manufacture,  etc.  The  preparation  of  the  highly  prized  quartz 
cylinders  worn  by  men  in  the  western  part  of  our  area  is  very  exacting. 
The  material  is  obtained  from  the  depths  of  the  forest  along  the  Tiquie 
River ;  percussion  with  another  quartz  roughly  shapes  the  rock,  which  is 
then  ground  on  sandstone  and  polished  with  fine  sand  or  pumice  im- 
ported from  the  Amazon  via  the  Yapura  River.  Months  are  required 
for  this  labor  and  for  the  ensuing  perforation.  The  Indian,  holding  the 
cylinder  with  his  feet,  twirls  a  pointed  palmwood  drill  on  the  quartz, 
adding  fine  white  sand,  but  no  water.  At  the  commencement  of  the 
perforating  process,  the  smooth,  round  quartz  is  tipped  with  a  lump  of 
pitch  until  the  pit  is  deep  enough  to  prevent  slipping  out.  Several  shafts 
are  worn  out  during  the  process,  having  to  be  constantly  resharpened 
(Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  205  f.). 

The  most  important  stone  tools,  however,  are  the  celt  and  the  grooved 
ax  (pis.  70,  top;  118,  e;  fig.  45).  They  are  made  either  by  grinding 
down  fragments  broken  from  rocks  or  by  grinding  down  water-worn 
pebbles  of  suitable  contour.  In  the  Apaporis  River  country,  the  Indians 
obtain    diabase    blades    ground   by   nature    so   as   to    be    almost    ready 


for  use  and  requiring  only  the  slightest  supplementary  grinding  (Koch- 
Griinberg,  1921,  p.  374).  Roth  distinguishes  elongate,  curved  celts  with 
a  cutting  edge  at  each  extremity;  small  straight-edged  blades  with  butt 
trimmed  for  hafting ;  larger  specimens  with  truncate  butts  and  rounded 
cutting  edges ;  and  narrow  flattened  celts  with  markedly  pointed  butts. 
The  grooved  axes  have  a  notch  above  and  below,  ranging  widely  as  to 
width;  the  butt  may  be  either  very  convex  or  rather  squat  and  square. 
The  hafting  technique  is  far  from  clear.  In  the  rare  cases  amenable 
to  direct  observation  the  celt  is  fitted  into  an  opening  cut  to  correspond 
to  its  base  and  secured  with  resin.  Roth  (1924,  pp.  72-79)  surmises 
that  the  blades  are  often  held  in  the  hand;  that  the  grooves  of  the  axes 
may  be  intended  merely  for  the  twine  employed ;  and  that  the  blunter  ax 
may  conceivably  be  fastened  by  a  withy  bent  double  and  fixed  with  gum 
and  twine. 


Mode  of  settlement,  matrimonial  arrangements,  and  government  are 
all  closely  interrelated  and  separable  only  for  purposes  of  exposition. 

Settlement. — In  many  of  the  tribes  the  settlement  consists  of  one  or  a 
few  communal  houses  (maloca).  Such  arrangements  imply  some  measure 
of  communism,  e.  g.,  the  joint  use  of  a  fireplace  for  beer  manufacture 
or  of  a  large  trough  for  grinding  maize.  The  population  bears  no  constant 
ratio  to  the  number  of  houses:  a  two-hut  hamlet  on  the  Aiari  River 
harbored  some  40  persons,  whereas  other  single  maloca  settlements  on 
this  river  had  a  numerical  strength  ranging  from  10  to  100.  If  neces- 
sary, each  could  accommodate  twice  or  even  four  times  as  many  (Koch- 
Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  42,  45).  A  Mangeroma  (Jurua-Purus)  house  was 
found  to  have  258  residents ;  some  Tenetehara  and  Tupiitamba  dwellings 
had  nearly  1,000  persons. 

In  several  districts  (e.  g.,  Tapirape,  Caraja,  Mundurucu,  Chacobo) 
a  men's  club  house  is  set  off  from  the  family  dwellings. 

Matrimonial  residence. — In  the  western  part  of  the  area,  patrilocal 
residence  predominates  along  with  local  exogamy.  Koch-Griinberg  ( 1921, 
pp.  114  f.,  211,  309)  would  have  us  believe  that  Tucanoans  and  neighbor- 
ing Arawakan  invariably  take  wives  from  other  tribes,  a  Siusi  girl  marry- 
ing a  Huhuteni  or  Kaus  suitor,  a  Bara  girl  a  Tuyuca  man.  It  seems 
more  probable  that  custom  merely  prescribes  taking  a  bride  from  another 
settlement,  irrespective  of  its  linguistic  affinity.  Goldman  (p.  780)  found 
the  Tucanoan  Cubeo  to  acquire  wives  outside  the  village,  members  of 
which  formed  an  exogamous,  patrilineal  sib.  Certainly  Preuss's  Witoto 
"stamme"  (1921,  1:11,  153  et  seq.)  suggest  localized  clans  (Steward's 
"patrilineal  bands,"  Giflford's  "lineages")  rather  than  "tribes"  in  ordinary 

30  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

In  the  Guianas,  matrilocal  residence  prevails,  coupled  with  bride-service. 
However,  there  are  notable  exceptions  and  qualifications.  The  Palicur 
have  no  fixed  rule  and  regard  an  independent  household  as  ideal  (Nim- 
uendaju,  1926,  p.  82).  The  Aparai,  in  contrast  to  fellow  Caribans,  are 
definitely  patrilocal  (Kirchhoff,  1931,  p.  119).  Frequently,  the  matrilocal 
rule  is  reversed  for  the  chief  and  his  eldest  son  (ibid.,  pp.  125,  190),  as 
also  holds  for  the  Bacdiri  (M.  Schmidt,  1905,  p.  437).  Avuncular  mar- 
riage for  girls  (see  below)  would  leave  both  spouses  in  their  natal  village. 

Matrilocalism  may  be  temporary  (Macurap  of  the  Branco  River), 
or  permanent.  It  cannot  be  considered  a  specifically  Arawakan  trait. 
Though  the  Locono  exhibit  it,  it  is  lacking  among  the  Wapishana.  Of 
non- Arawakans,  the  isolated  Warrau,  the  Cariban  Tamanak,  Macushi, 
Taulipdng,  Rucuyen,  Galibi,  Kallinago,  and  the  Tupian  Siriono,  Guayaki, 
and  Chiriguano  are  temporarily  or  permanently  matrilocal. 

Marriage  rules. — Premarital  license  may  be  consistent  with  strict 
feminine  chastity  in  wedlock  (Roth,  1924,  p.  560;  Nimuendajii, 
1926,  p.  81). 

Monogamy  is  reported  for  the  Palicur  as  early  as  1729.  Elsewhere 
polygyny  is  often  either  a  chief's  prerogative  (Caiari  River)  or  is  actually 
practiced  mostly  by  chiefs  and  shamans,  notwithstanding  permissive 
polygyny  for  others  (Roth,  1924,  p.  685  et  seq.).  Polygyny  is  most 
commonly  sororal  (Trumai).  Simultaneous  marriage  with  a  woman 
and  her  daughter  by  another  husband  crops  up  sporadically,  being  ortho- 
dox among  Kuliseu  River  tribes,  the  Rucuyen,  and  sundry  Caribans. 

Bride-service  was  frequent.  Its  obligations  might  be  temporary,  as 
among  the  Tenetehara  (p.  143)  or  continue  indefinitely,  as  among  the 
Tupinamba,  who,  however,  mitigated  the  husband's  lot  if  he  gave  his 
daughter  in  marriage  to  her  mother's  brother  (p.  112).  In  northwestern 
Brazil  the  groom  offers  presents  to  his  parents-in-law,  but  the  bride 
brings  a  dowry. 

Preferential  kin  and  affinial  unions  are  varied  and  widespread.  The 
Cubeo  prefer  cross-cousin  marriage  together  with  brother-sister  exchange, 
so  that  the  symmetrical  form  of  the  custom  is  indicated.  Cross-cousin 
marriage  is  also  orthodox  among  the  Nambicuara,  whose  nomenclature 
reflects  the  practice ;  the  Cashinawa;  the  Wapishana;  and  various  Caribans 
of  whom  the  Aparai  favor  the  patrilateral,  others  the  symmetrical  type. 

The  occurrence  of  avuncular  marriage,  sororal  polygyny,  and  step- 
daughter marriage  have  been  noted. 

Position  of  women. — The  discordant  evidence  presumably  reflects 
local  differences:  some  sources  describe  women  as  their  husbands' 
slaves,  others  as  their  companions,  and  among  the  Palicur  they  set  the 
tone.  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  353  f.;  Roth,  1924,  pp.  683  f . ;  Nim- 
uendajii, 1926,  pp.  78  ff.)     Since  the  Palicur  are  patrilineal,  the  status 

Vol.  3]  THE  TROPICAL  FORESTS— LOWIE  -     31 

of  women  is  obviously  not  a  simple  function  of  the  rule  of  descent.  Nor 
is  it  clearly  correlated  with  particular  linguistic  families. 

Kinship  usages. — Mother-in-law  avoidance  occurs  among  the  Arawak, 
Carib,  and  Warrau  of  Guiana:  a  man  must  not  remain  in  his  mother- 
in-law's  dwelling,  nor  talk  with  her,  nor  even  look  at  her  (Roth,  1924, 
p.  685;  1915,  p.  344;  Kirchhoff,  1931,  p.  150).  In  the  same  region  a 
man  and  his  wife's  father  may  converse  on  ordinary  topics,  but  the  wife 
serves  as  go-between  in  the  conveyance  of  instructions  (Roth,  1915, 
p.  200).  Among  the  Tupinamba  a  newly  wed  man  and  his  father-in- 
law  display  mutual  bashfulness  (Kirchhoff,  1931,  p.  183). 

Among  the  Shipaya  a  lifelong  bond  of  solidarity  is  sometimes  created 
between  two  individuals  on  the  occasion  of  a  ceremony. 

Unilateral  and  bilateral  units. — Instead  of  unilateral  types  of  unit 
many  tribes  have  territorial  groups  embracing  both  blood-kinsfolk  and 
outsiders — especially  in-laws — who  have  come  to  join  them.  This  type 
of  unit  is  Kirchhoff's  "extended  family"  (Grossfamilie). 

However,  unilateral  systems  are  not  rare,  but  not  one  of  the  three 
major  stocks  presents  a  uniform  social  organization.  It  is  true  that  the 
Caribans  present  no  authenticated  case  of  exogamy  with  matrilineal 
descent,  which  in  some  tribes  is  indeed  precluded  by  avuncular  marriage 
(Tamanac  and  Macushi)  ;  most  of  them  seem  to  have  loose  extended 
families,  but  patrilineal  reckoning  may  occur  in  some  cases.  Of  the 
Arazvakans,  the  Locono  and  the  Goajiro  (Handbook,  vol.  4)  have  each 
a  large  number  of  matrilineal  clans,  which  probably  holds  for  the  Antillean 
congeners.  On  the  other  hand,  the  western  Arawakans  lack  the  trait, 
and  even  in  the  east  the  Palicur  have  seven  patrilineal  clans  (Nimuendaju, 
1926,  pp.  22  et  seq.,  86,  132)  ranged  in  moieties.  Of  the  Tupians,  on 
the  Rio  Branco,  the  Ariia  have  matrilineal,  the  Makurap  patrilineal 
descent,  the  latter  also  holding  for  the  Witoto  and  the  Mimdnrucu,  which 
latter  have  exogamic  moieties  divided  into  clans.  The  Tupinamba  may 
conceivably  have  had  a  patrilineal  organization,  but  certainly  not  matri- 
lineal clans  in  view  of  the  orthodoxy  of  avuncular  marriage. 

Turning  to  other  stocks,  the  Jabuti  (Rio  Branco),  the  Tucanoans 
(Cubeo),  and  the  Tucunu  are  patrilineal. 

Besides  the  Palicur  and  Mundurucu,  the  Kepikiriwat  (Gi-Parana 
River)  also  have  moieties,  but  apparently  only  for  ceremonial  ball  games. 
Only  the  Mundurucu  moieties  are  definitely  known  to  be  exogamous 
(p.  277)  ;  on  the  other  hand,  the  feature  belongs  to  the  three  Cubeo 
phratries.  The  nameless  Cubeo  phratries  own  land  and  unite  periodically 
for  a  men's  initiation  ceremony  and  for  the  recital  of  origin  myths  (pp.  780- 
781).  The  Palicur  moieties  have  separate  cemeteries  and  are  named 
"lower"  and  "upper,"  respectively. 

At  least  partly  totemic  clan  names  appear  in  the  Cubeo,  Palicur,  and 
Tucuna  schemes.  Cubeo  and  Tucuna  clans  own  each  a  set  of  personal  names. 

32  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

How  far  we  can  speak  of  totemism  apart  from  the  above  mentioned 
cases  of  totemic  names,  is  not  certain.  One  Palicur  clan  traces  its  descent 
from  a  sloth,  others  from  a  bird,  wild  Bromelias,  and  the  earth,  re- 
spectively ;  but  some  of  the  designations  are  untranslatable.  Among 
the  Cuheo,  again,  it  was  not  the  totemic  clan  eponyms  that  were  once 
taboo,  but  the  eponyms  associated  with  the  sets  of  personal  names  owned 
by  clans. 

Political  organization. — Commonly  each  settlement  is  autonomous, 
so  that  the  headman  merely  controls  fellow-residents,  but  some  tribes 
are  said  to  have  paramount  chiefs  (Yuruna) .  In  the  matrilocal  but  clan- 
less  tribes,  a  headman  might  exert  much  influence  by  controlling  as  de- 
pendents his  daughters'  husbands.  Indeed,  in  the  Guayaki  hordes,  the 
father  of  several  daughters  who  have  attracted  suitors  into  fixed  matri- 
local residence  becomes  ipso  facto  the  headman.  As  a  rule,  however, 
greater  authority  belongs  to  chiefs  in  unilaterally  organized  societies. 
A  Palicur  chief,  e.  g.,  welcomes  strangers,  organizes  communal  enterprises, 
and  smooths  over  internal  difficulties.  But  though  a  chief  represents  his 
people,  arranges  festivities,  and  leads  economic  undertakings,  he  owes 
hospitality  to  his  tribesmen  and  probably  is  never  despotic  by  virtue  of 
his  office. 

Succession  follows  distinct  patterns.  In  the  Rio  Negro  region  (Siusi) 
a  headman  is  followed  first  by  his  several  brothers  and  only  after  their 
death  by  a  son.  The  Palicur  disregard  heredity,  the  incumbent  selecting 
as  deputy  and  successor  the  ablest  and  most  popular  tribesman.  Elsewhere 
( Yuruna)  the  oldest  son  normally  succeeds  his  father ;  failing  male  off- 
spring, a  Witoto  chief  may  choose  as  his  successor  a  son-in-law,  thus 
contravening  the  normal  patrilocal  rule. 

Where  sources  speak  of  accession  by  ordeals  (Roth,  1924,  pp.  568-573), 
a  purely  titular  distinction  seems  invloved :  the  successful  candidate 
does  not  supersede  the  chief  in  ofifice,  but  gains  in  status.  The  tests  in 
part  coincide  with  those  imposed  at  puberty. 

In  some  tribes  (e.  g.,  Qui  jo,  Nambicuara)  a  chief  is  usually  a  shaman. 

As  for  differences  in  rank,  the  status  of  sons-in-law  was  often  inferior 
in  matrilocal  societies,  but  hardly  enough  so  to  warrant  speaking  of  an 
inferior  caste,  though  in  some  tribes  the  same  term  designates  a  serf  and 
a  son-in-law  (e.  g.,  Guiana  Carib,  p.  849).  Rather  different  is  the  case 
of  whole  tribes  dominated  by  others.  Thus,  the  originally  nomadic  Macii 
are  well  enough  treated  by  economically  superior  neighbors,  but  some- 
what as  might  be  pet  animals.  The  Tucano  send  Macii  slaves  to  get  game, 
fish,  or  wild  fruits  and  assign  menial  tasks  to  them.  A  master  will  dole 
out  kashiri  or  an  occasional  cigar  to  his  drudge,  but  bars  him  from 
dances ;  and  no  Macti  would  intrude  into  a  conversation  unasked.  Dif- 
ferent again  is  the  Chiriguano  polity.  This  offshoot  of  the  Gnarani 
conquered  the  economically  advanced  Chcme,  thus  creating  an  upper  class 


that  in  various  districts  lords  it  over  from  5  to  over  10  times  their  number 
of  serfs  (p.  467).  A  stratification  is  suggested  for  the  ancient  Manasi 
of  Bolivia :  hereditary  chiefs,  priests,  shamans,  "captains,"  and  com- 
moners (p.  389). 

Property  and  inheritance. — Individual  property  rights  are  recog- 
nized, even  children  being  credited  with  them  (M.  Schmidt,  1905,  p.  438; 
Roth,  1924,  pp.  632,  701).  But  this  does  not  bar  communal  ownership 
of  certain  goods,  such  as  weirs  and  general  sharing  in  the  yield  (e.  g., 
p.  000;  Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  257).  In  Guiana  land  is  cleared  by 
communal  labor  (Kirchhoff,  1931,  pp.  141,  157).  Since  settlements  shift 
with  exhaustion  of  the  soil,  inheritance  of  land  is  immaterial,  but  fishing 
rights  are  sib-owned  among  the  Cubeo  (p.  781)  and  on  the  upper  Xingu 
(p.  324).  As  for  other  property,  most  tribes  burn  or  bury  a  deceased 
person's  chattels.  A  Triimai  nephew  inherits  certain  songs  from  his 
mother's  brother.  Among  the  Siusi  the  son  is  the  sole  heir ;  failing  issue, 
the  dead  man's  brother  or  other  kinsman  takes  his  place. 

Trade. — Local  specialization  and  the  mobility  of  expert  boatmen 
favored  wholesale  trading  notwithstanding  the  lack  of  fixed  mediums  of 
exchange.  Acawai  peddlers  make  long  journeys  in  Venezuela,  Brazil, 
and  Guiana.  Even  such  necessities  as  cassava  graters  and  blowguns  are 
often  manufactured  in  particular  distributing  centers.  Credit  is  an 
established  concept,  payment  being  often  deferred  for  months. 

That  Arawakans  have  created  all  useful  goods  is  unproved.  The  iso- 
lated Otomac  are  famous  for  their  pottery;  the  Cariban  Arecuna  spread 
cotton  and  blowguns ;  the  Warrau,  their  boats ;  the  Pehans,  Macushi,  and 
Tucnna,  blowgun  poison.  Intertribal  trade  was  greatly  developed  on  the 
upper  Xingu  River,  with  formalized  procedure  (pp.  338-339).  The 
extent  of  commerce  is  indicated  by  the  presence  of  Andean  objects  of  gold, 
silver,  and  copper  as  far  east  as  the  upper  Paraguay  River. 


Weapons. — Bows  and  arrows  have  already  been  described  under 
Hunting  (p.  12).  Some  of  the  fighting  arrows  are  poisoned.  Roth 
rightly  wonders  at  the  infrequent  use  of  curare  in  warfare  (blowguns 
with  their  curare-poisoned  darts  were  never  used),  but  the  Yahuna  are 
said  to  smear  it  on  palm  spines  attached  to  their  wrists  and  elbows  in 
preparation  for  a  hand-to-hand  encounter  (Koch-Grunberg,  1921,  p.  362). 
Spears  are  common  in  western  rather  than  in  eastern  Guiana ;  they  are 
long,  pointed,  and  firehardened  staves  of  wood,  but  there  is  some  evi- 
dence of  prehistoric  stone  spearheads.  In  Yapura  and  Apaporis  River 
country  there  are  poisoned  lances,  which  are  wanting  in  the  Caiari  region  ; 
they  serve  both  in  war  and  the  chase.  These  weapons  are  always  united 
in  sheaves  of  seven ;  each  poisoned  tip,  inserted  in  an  incision  of  the 
shaft  and  wrapped  with  bast,  is  stuck  into  a  separate  compartment  of  a 

34  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

common  case  for  the  septet.    The  arrangement  resembles  that  for  poisoned 
arrows  on  the  Aiari  River  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  64,  88,  371  f.,  396). 

Clubs  with  wrist-loops  are  common,  especially  the  flat,  paddle-  or 
swordlike  type  (macana,  fig.  78,  e-h).  These  are  large,  at  times  requir- 
ing the  use  of  both  hands  to  wield  them.  A  block  type,  distributed  at 
least  from  Cayenne  to  the  Orinoco,  is  made  of  the  hardest,  heaviest 
woods  worked  into  sharp-cornered  square  ends;  sometimes  a  celt  is 
cemented  into  a  lateral  groove  (fig.  27).  A  curious  dagger-club  tapers 
to  a  sharp  point  at  one  end,  to  a  blunt  one  at  the  other,  with  the  grip 
in  between;  it  is  driven  through  the  ear  into  a  fallen  enemy's  brain. 
Other  clubs  resemble  a  spatula.  The  clubs  are  often  elaborately  orna- 
mented with  basketwork  wrapping  and  engraved  designs. 

Shields  vary  greatly  in  make  and  shape,  but  most  commonly  are  circular, 
of  tapir  hide.  Wickerwork  equivalents,  occasionally  covered  with  tapir 
hide,  also  occur  in  the  Montana,  the  Uaupes-Caqueta  (pi.  103,  center),  and 
the  Mojos-Chiquitos  area,  and  they  persist  as  dance  regalia  on  the  Rio 
Negro,  For  the  Cayenne  Indians,  an  early  recorder  describes  and  figures 
an  oblong  shield  of  very  light  wood,  painted  with  various  designs. 

Psychology  of  Warfare. — Some  tribes,  such  as  the  Yagua  (p.  735) 
are  reckoned  as  peaceable,  others — notably  the  Carib  and  Tupi — as  militar- 
istic. The  historic  conflict  of  Cariban  and  Arawakan  groups  in  the  Antilles 
is  also  exemplified  by  the  hereditary  enmity  of  Galibi  and  Palicur;  and 
the  Arawakaiis  of  I(jana  region  are  traditional  enemies  of  the  Cubeo,  but 
it  would  be  a  grave  error  to  suppose  that  alignment  universally  followed 
linguistic  lines.  To  the  contrary,  warfare  was  more  common  within 
families,  e.  g.,  between  Jivaro  villages,  between  the  Panoan  Conibo  and 
Cashibo,  or  between  Nahukwa  groups. 

Revenge  seems  to  have  been  the  foremost  motive  for  warfare,  but  the 
Parintintin  fought  mainly  for  sport  and  the  Tupinamba  to  gain  prestige 
and  to  acquire  victims  to  be  eaten.  The  craving  for  glory  also  figured 
largely,  as  indicated  by  the  use  of  trophies,  e.  g.,  among  the  Jivaro 
(p.  624)  and,  on  the  Orinoco  River,  by  the  recital  of  coups.  The  Paressi 
are  unique  in  their  wars  of  conquest.  Another  motive  was  the  capture 
of  individual  enemies,  a  factor  greatly  intensified  by  European  instigation. 

Organization  and  tactics. — The  decision  to  make  war  usually  takes 
place  at  a  council  in  combination  with  a  drinking-bout.  The  Suriname 
Carib  then  paint  themselves,  dance  special  dances  to  arouse  the  jaguar 
spirit,  and  undergo  magical  rites  to  ensure  success.  Some  tribes  summon 
their  fellows  by  signal  drums  or  by  blowing  conchs.  Several  groups  are 
credited  with  having  specially  appointed  commanders-in-chief  and  with 
carrying  provisions  along.  Among  the  Mundurucu,  women  accompany 
and  assist  their  warrior  husbands. 


Open  warfare  is  far  less  common  than  nocturnal  and  matutinal  sur- 
prise attacks.  In  attacking  a  palisaded  village,  the  aggressors  often  shoot 
arrows  tipped  with  lighted  cotton  to  set  fire  to  the  thatched  roofs.  Wide- 
spread protective  measures  include  the  barring  of  avenues  of  approach 
with  sharp  hardwood  stakes  and  coltrops,  both  often  poisoned,  and  the 
stakes  frequently  set  in  the  bottom  of  a  concealed  trench.  The  use  of 
automatically-released  blowguns  hidden  by  the  trail  (Jurua-Purus)  and 
of  irritating  fumes  from  burning  peppers  is  more  restricted. 

Treatment  of  prisoners. — Slavery  has  already  been  mentioned.  Cap- 
tive women  were  usually  taken  in  marriage  and  children  reared  as  ordinary 
tribal  members,  but  the  cannibalistic  Tupinamha,  though  taking  captives, 
always  killed  and  ate  them  sooner  or  later. 

Trophies. — Nearly  all  warring  tribes  take  human  trophies  of  some  kind, 
most  frequently  heads,  though  the  Parintintin  do  not  disdain  arms  and 
legs.  The  most  famous  trophies  are  the  Jivaro  shrunken  heads  (pi.  63 
and  p.  625).  In  some  cases,  scalps  alone  are  sought,  e.  g.,  in  Suriname, 
where  the  women  wear  them  as  ornaments,  the  Yecuand  using  the  hair 
for  belts.  The  Yuruna  and  various  Montana  tribes  prefer  the  skull.  A 
common  practice  is  to  make  flutes  of  the  victim's  long  bones  and  necklaces 
of  his  teeth. 

The  Mundnrucu  cut  an  enemy's  head  off  with  a  cane  knife,  remove 
the  brains,  eyes,  tongue,  and  muscles,  then  dry  the  skull,  wash  it  with 
water,  saturate  it  with  urucu  oil,  and  expose  it  to  the  sun.  When  hard, 
it  receives  an  artificial  brain  of  dyed  cotton,  eyes  of  pitch,  teeth,  and 
a  feather  hood  for  decoration  (fig,  28;  pi.  23,  lejt).  Henceforth,  the 
victor  regularly  carries  it  with  him  by  a  rope.  ( Spix  and  Martins,  1823- 
31,  3:1314). 

Cannibalism. — Although  our  word  "cannibal"  is  derived  from  a  desig- 
nation of  the  Carih,  many  Arawakan  and  Tucanoan  tribes  also  practiced 
anthropophagy.  Several  tribes  in  Guiana  closely  resembled  the  Tupi- 
namha  in  their  relevant  procedure ;  they  hospitably  entertained  a  prisoner 
for  some  time,  beginning  to  taunt  him  as  the  fatal  hour  of  his  execution 
approached,  then  tortured  him,  and  finally  crushed  his  skull  with  a  sword- 
club.  This  was  followed  by  the  cooking  and  eating  of  his  flesh,  some 
of  the  bones  being  made  into  flutes.  (See  figs.  12-14.)  Shipaya  canni- 
balism is  linked  with  the  cult  of  Kumapari. 

(For  the  whole  section,  see  Roth,  1924,  pp.  144-173,  578-601.)  Endo- 
cannibalism  is  described  under  Death  (p.  38) . 


Birth. — Isolation  of  the  woman  during  childbirth  is  customary.  Among 
the  Siusi,  e.  g.,  the  woman  in  labor  remains  in  her  hammock  within  the 
house,  assisted  by  the  female  inmates,  while  the  men  all  depart.  The 
navel  string  and  afterbirth  are  buried  on  the  spot  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921, 

36  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

p.  116).  For  5  days  the  mother  remains  secluded  in  her  division  of  the 
dwelling,  where  her  husband  keeps  her  company ;  during  this  period 
neither  parent  may  work,  wash  himself,  or  eat  anything  but  flat  manioc 
cakes  and  peppers  lest  the  infant  take  harm.  The  seclusion  is  ended  by 
the  father's  recital  of  the  names  of  fish  and  game  animals  henceforth 
permitted  to  the  parents,  followed  by  a  joint  bath  by  them  and  the  infant. 
On  that  day  the  father's  father  bestows  a  name  on  the  child,  usually 
drawing  upon  the  animal  kingdom.  The  Cuheo  (p.  787)  conform  to  the 
Siusi  rule  in  this  respect,  but  widely  depart  from  it  in  other  details.  Here 
the  expectant  mother — not  her  husband — abstains  from  the  flesh  of  all 
quadrupeds  for  a  month  before  the  birth.  The  delivery  may  occur  in 
the  house  or  in  a  special  hut  or  in  the  woods,  but  with  the  assistance  of 
all  women.  The  husband's  mother  cuts  the  navel  cord  with  razor  grass 
and  immediately  buries  it  with  the  afterbirth.  Of  twins  of  different 
sex  the  female,  and  otherwise  the  junior  infant,  is  invariably  killed. 
Several  hours  after  a  birth  the  shaman  arrives  for  a  conjuring  ceremony. 
Confinement  in  the  young  couple's  part  of  the  house  lasts  for  5  days, 
then  all  the  furniture  is  moved  out  of  the  house  prior  to  the  newborn 
child's  first  bath,  and  on  the  following  day  a  kinsman  of  the  father  brings 
cooked  fish,  thereby  terminating  the  fast.  Eight  days  after  the  delivery 
a  great  drinking  spree  is  held,  to  which  the  parents  invite  all  their  kin, 
and  it  is  then  that  a  name  is  conferred  (Koch-Grunberg,  1921,  pp.  310  f.). 

In  these  instances  the  couvade,  which  has  a  very  wide  distribution, 
is  at  best  adumbrated.  In  Guiana  the  couvade  appears  in  classical  form, 
i.  e.,  natal  and  prenatal  prescriptions  and  restrictions  on  the  father  equal 
or  surpass  the  mother's,  the  rationale  usually  being  the  infant's  welfare. 
A  Palicur  father  is  supposed  to  be  everywhere  accompanied  by  the  child's 
spirit,  for  whom  he  must  carry  a  miniature  bow  and  arrow  lest  he  himself 
fail  in  the  hunt ;  and  if  he  is  obliged  to  enter  the  woods  at  night  he  must 
carry  a  sling  over  his  left  shoulder  for  the  infant's  spirit.  Were  the  man 
to  make  incisions  in  certain  trees,  the  tree-spirit  would  cause  the  child's 
abdomen  to  grow  large  like  the  tree's  (Nimuendaju,  1926,  p.  ^Z).  The 
Suriname  Carih  forbade  the  father  to  hunt  or  undertake  any  heavy  work ; 
everywhere  he  had  to  avoid  thorny  places  on  the  road,  and  if  he  crossed 
a  river  by  a  tree  trunk,  he  would  set  up  a  sort  of  miniature  bridge  for 
the  child's  spirit  (Roth,  1924,  pp.  695  f.).  The  Galihi  subjected  the 
father  to  the  same  flogging  and  scarification  tests  characteristic  at  puberty, 
the  idea  being  to  transfer  to  the  child  the  valor  shown.  The  Macushi 
prohibit  both  parents  to  scratch  themselves  with  their  fingernails,  instead 
of  which  they  employ  the  midrib  of  the  kokerite  palm  (Roth,  1915, 
pp.  320-324). 

There  seems  to  be  no  support  for  Max  Schmidt's  view  (1917,  pp.  61-64) 
that  the  couvade  was  a  potent  mechanism  for  creating  an  economically 
subordinate  social  class.    The  custom  is  not  confined  to  matrilocal  peoples, 


as  he  assumes,  but  has  a  wide  distribution  irrespective  of  the  rule  of  resi- 
dence ;  and  its  implications  are  very  clearly  of  the  magico-religious  order. 

Puberty. — Some  sort  of  puberty  ordeal  is  widespread,  being  obligatory 
for  both  sexes  before  marriage  especially  in  the  Guianas,  as  among  the 
Carib  and  Warrau.  The  principal  tests  are  fasting,  exposure  to  ant 
bites,  scarification,  and  flagellation.  A  Pomeroon  Arawak  girl  must 
abstain  from  meat  at  her  first  menses  and  eat  very  little  fish  with  small 
manioc  cakes ;  her  Warrau  sister  neither  eats,  speaks,  nor  laughs  for  2 
or  3  days.  Maue,  Apinaye,  and  Arapium  boys  were  exposed  to  ants,  as 
was  customary  among  various  Guiana  tribes  (see  pi.  118,  d),  which  latter 
commonly  inflicted  severe  gashes  on  adolescents  of  both  sexes.  Boys 
or  girls,  or  both,  were  flogged  among  the  Macushi,  the  Marauhd,  and 
Araycu  (west  of  Ega),  and  tribes  of  the  lower  Iqa.  River.  Very  common 
is  the  suspension  of  a  girl  in  a  hammock  raised  to  the  highest  part  of 
the  hut  so  as  to  expose  her  to  the  smoke.  This  custom,  linked  with  fast- 
ing and  other  taboos,  seems  to  be  in  part  of  upper  Amazonia  the  equivalent 
of  the  boys'  flogging.  The  Taulipdng  combine  all  the  austerities  de- 
scribed :  A  youth  is  whipped  and  gashed,  the  incisions  being  smeared 
with  magical  substances,  and  exposed  to  ants,  besides  being  obliged  to 
forego  the  meat  of  game  and  flesh  of  large  birds  and  big  fish  for  a 
whole  year.  This  trial  is  invariably  collective,  and  none  of  the  candidates 
may  utter  a  cry  of  pain  lest  the  ceremony  be  nullified  for  all  celebrants. 
However,  the  primary  object  of  the  performance  is,  according  to  Koch- 
Grunberg,  not  a  mere  test  of  fortitude,  but  a  magical  enhancement  of 
the  youths'  skill  in  hunting  and  fishing;  and  consequently  it  may  be 
repeated  for  like  purposes  in  later  life.  A  Taulipdng  girl,  when  coming 
of  age,  is  exposed  to  ants,  tattooed,  and  whipped ;  throughout  her  first 
period  she  remains  in  her  hammock  partitioned  from  the  rest  of  the  hut, 
observes  a  rigid  diet,  and  is  obliged  to  use  a  special  scratcher  for  her 
head.  This  last  taboo  also  applies  to  mourners  of  either  sex.  At  the 
next  four  or  five  menstrual  periods  the  prohibitions  are  somewhat  re- 
laxed, but  the  girl  must  not  visit  the  plantation,  seize  knives  or  axes, 
blow  on  a  fire,  or  talk  loudly  lest  her  health  suffer.  The  Siusi  (Rio 
Aiari)  cut  a  girl's  hair,  paint  her  with  genipa,  restrict  her  food,  and 
wind  up  with  a  major  carousal.  The  Tupinamha  shave  the  girl's  head 
and  scarify  her,  and  the  Guarani  cut  her  hair,  while  among  the  Parinfintin 
and  some  Montafia  tribes  she  is  deflowered.  The  Nambicuara  isolate  her 
for  several  months  outside  the  village,  where  she  receives  ritual  food, 
a  bath  terminating  the  period  of  seclusion.  (See  Koch-Grunberg,  1923  b, 
pp.  121-131,  168;  1921,  pp.  115,  220;  Roth,  1915,  pp.  308-313;  Spix  and 
Martius,  1823-31,  3:1185  f.,  1314  f.,  1318,  1320  f;  Bates,  1863,  2:405  f.) 

Initiation  of  boys  into  a  men's  tribal  society  has  a  limited  distribution. 
The  Tucanoans  initiate  boys  to  the  ancestor  cult,  (the  so-called  "Yaupary" 
cult),   requiring  them  to  take  snuff  and  revealing  to  them  the  secret 

38  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

megaphone  and  trumpet  which  represent  the  voices  of  the  ancestors 
(p.  783).  The  Witotoans  (p.  760)  and  Tucuna  (p.  718)  seem  similarly 
to  initiate  boys  to  the  secret  trumpets.  South  of  the  Amazon,  there  is 
no  cult,  except  possibly  in  the  Mojos-Chiquitos  area  where  again  there 
are  secret  musical  instruments.  Preparation  of  boys  for  manhood  starts 
at  a  tender  age,  when  they  receive  their  first  labrets  (Tupinamba),  take 
parica  snuff  (Mura),  have  their  teeth  stained  {Cashinawd),  sleep  in  the 
men's  house  {Mundurucu),  are  tonsured  (Carajd),  or  experience  other 
formal  stages  of  growing  up. 

Death. — In  the  disposal  of  the  dead  divergent  procedures  exist,  some- 
times even  with  the  same  tribe.  The  most  widespread  practice  is  to 
bury  the  corpse  in  their  huts.  Usually  care  is  taken  to  prevent  direct 
contact  with  the  earth  by  erecting  a  palm-leaf  shelter  or  some  equivalent 

The  posture  is  sometimes  vertical,  in  other  cases  sitting,  the  latter 
position  being  also  employed  in  Riicuyen  cremation.  Almost  all  the 
upper  Xingti  burials  are  in  recumbent  position  with  the  head  toward  the 
east.  Funeral  deposits  are  common,  but  not  universal.  Often,  especially 
after  the  death  of  a  distinguished  man,  the  house  is  abandoned.  The 
Cashinawa  destroyed  a  deceased  person's  possessions. 

Cemeteries  occur,  as  among  the  Palicur;  and  Humboldt  records  an 
assemblage  of  nearly  600  skeletons  of  the  extinct  A  Hire,  each  in  a  separate 
basket,  the  bones  having  been  variously  dyed  for  this  secondary  disposal 
some  months  after  primary  burial  in  damp  earth,  followed  by  scraping. 
Urns  near  the  baskets  also  held  bones,  presumably  those  of  one  family. 
(See  also  pi.  119,  bottom.)  Such  secondary  urn  burial  was  widespread, 
especially  among  Tupian  tribes. 

In  some  cases  there  are  dietary  taboos.  The  discarding  of  ornaments 
and  the  cutting  of  the  hair  are  widespread  mourning  practices.  There 
is  often  restriction  on  remarriage  during  the  period.  Lamentations  are 
kept  up  between  death  and  the  final  ceremonies.  Among  the  Cubeo,  they 
continue  for  5  days  in  harmony  with  the  mystic  number  of  the  upper 
Rio  Negro  country. 

A  remarkable  secondary  procedure  characterizes  the  Tapajo,  Cubeo, 
Arapium,  certain  Panoans,  and  some  other  groups.  The  cremated  corpse 
or  the  exhumed  bones  are  burnt  to  ashes,  which  are  mixed  with  festive 
brew,  and  drunk  with  the  beverage  (e.  g.,  pp.  254,  556;  also  Norden- 
skiold,  1930  a,  p.  12;  Palmatary,  1939,  p.  5  f.;  Koch-Grunberg,  1921, 
p.  316;  Roth,  1924,  pp.  642,  660). 

In  the  Guianas,  the  closing  mortuary  solemnities  might  take  place  about 
a  year  after  the  death,  but  the  exact  date  apparently  hinged  on  whether 
the  deceased  person's  manioc  crop  sufficed  for  supplying  the  wherewithal 
for  a  carousal.  These  festivities  involved  not  only  drinking,  singing, 
and  dancing,  but  also  in  some  tribes  (Arawak,  Warrau)  mutual  flagella- 

Plate  1. — Brazilian  and  Paraguayan  landscapes  from  the  air.  Top,  left: 
Shifting  agriculture  in  the  forests  of  Maranhao,  Brazil.  Top,  right:  Tebicuary 
River  meandering  across  grassy  plains  of  southern  Paraguay,  Guarani  country. 
(After  Rich,  1942,  Nos.  34,  136.)  Bottom:  A  jungle  delta  in  the  Province  of 
Maranhao,  Brazil.  (Courtesy  Albert  W.  Stevens  and  the  National  Geographic 

Plate  2. — The  Peruvian  Montana.     {Top,  Courtesy  Grace  Line;  bottom,  after 

Johnson,  1930.) 


^i^^ssssfi  ,■ 





Plate  3.— Ecuadorean  and  Brazilian  jungles.  Top:  Giant  ferns,  Ecuador. 
(Courtesy  H.  E.  Anthony  and  the  National  Geographic  Magazine.)  Bottom: 
Along  the  lower  Solimoes  River,  Brazil.  (Courtesy  American  Museum  of 
Natural  History.) 

Plate  4. — Landscapes  of  Venezuela  and  the  Guianas.  Top:  Beyond  Suapure, 
Venezuela,  showing  abrupt  change  to  densely  wooded  ranges.  The  tonka  bean 
is  the  most  characteristic  tree.  (Courtesy  Llewelyn  Williams.)  Center: 
Atorai  country,  British  Guiana.  (Courtesy  University  Museum,  Philadelphia.) 
Bottom:  The  ledge  (dark  diagonal  line)  approach  to  the  summit  of  Roraima, 
British  Guiana.  (Courtesy  G.  H.  H.  Tate  and  the  National  Geographic 

Plate  5. — Venezuela  rivers.  Top,  left:  Upper  Orinoco.  Top,  right:  Casiquiare 
River.  Center,  left:  Upper  Orinoco.  Center,  right:  Rio  Negro,  the  Brazilian- 
Venezuelan  border.  (Courtesy  Llewelyn  Williams.)  Bottom:  Casiquiare 
River,  showing  typical  cut  banks  and  river  vegetation.  (Courtesy  G.  H.  H. 
Tate  and  C.  B.  Hitchcock.) 



2  o 


■:^W  f09K 

^•^  .    i: 

Plate  8. — Tropical  forest  agriculture  and  food  preparation.  Top:  A  collective 
garden  cleared  by  "slash-and-burn"  technique.  On  the  Pimenta  Bueno 
River,  (Courtesy  Claude  Levi-Strauss.)  Bottom:  YaulaTpiti  women  crushing 
manioc.     (Courtesy  University  Museum,  Philadelphia.) 


tion  with  a  special  whip.  The  dances  might  include  animal  mimicry  of 
the  type  performed  at  other  celebrations.  A  kind  of  masquerade,  but 
with  exposed  faces,  occurs  among  the  Rucuyen;  the  performers,  wearing 
a  towering  headgear  and  a  long  bark  fringe  from  the  neck  downward, 
successively  crack  a  long  whip.  But  full-fledged  masked  dances  as  a 
mortuary  ritual  characterize  the  upper  Rio  Negro,  where  butterflies, 
carrion  vultures,  jaguars,  etc.,  are  all  represented  by  the  costumes  and 
the  actors'  behavior  (p.  789).  Koch-Grunberg  (1921,  pp.  78-85,  314  f.) 
surmises  that  the  purpose  is  to  conciliate  the  spirit  of  the  dead,  to  ward 
off  evil  demons,  and  to  foster  success  in  hunting  and  farming.  Women 
attend  these  performances,  but  only  as  spectators  (Roth,  1924,  pp. 


Art. — In  the  absence  of  detailed  preliminary  studies  only  a  sketchy 
treatment  can  be  attempted. 

As  Max  Schmidt  has  indicated,  twilling  produces  parallel  diagonal 
effects,  whose  combination  may  yield  distinct  decorative  designs,  such  as 
concentric  diamonds  or  concentric  squares  (M.  Schmidt,  1905,  p.  334 
et  seq.).  Such  textile  designs  are  often  secondarily  transferred  to  other 
media;  they  may  be  painted  on  the  face,  body,  or  pottery,  incised  on 
house-posts  and  walls,  engraved  on  dance  implements  and  weapons,  and 
worked  in  beads  (pi.  102,  right).  According  to  Koch-Griinberg,  (1921, 
pp.  341,  347),  the  primary  textile  patterns  include  zigzags,  meanders, 
series  of  right  angles,  etc.  However  that  may  be,  neither  definitely 
curvilinear  nor  naturalistic  forms  can  be  derived  from  a  textile  technique. 
Thus,  variants  of  a  spiral  motif  are  prominently  painted  on  the  ceramics 
of  the  Brazilian-Guiana  litoral.  Here  also  appear  characteristic  pairs 
of  overlapping,  though  not  actually  interlocking  hooks;  these  couples 
are  variously  arranged,  in  four  or  five-fold  vertical  series  partitioned  into 
panels;  in  concentric  circles  on  the  inside  of  the  vessel,  etc.  (Roth,  1924, 
pis.  27-29).  Again,  the  remarkable  array  of  clubs  from  Guiana  and 
Brazil  published  by  Stolpe  (1927,  pis.  1,  2,  16  et  passim)  reveals,  indeed, 
some  patterns  conceivably  of  textile  origin,  but  many  circles,  scrolls, 
scallops,  and  sundry  combinations  of  curvilinear  with  rectilinear  figures. 
There  are  also  unequivocally  realistic  representations  of  a  quadruped  and 
a  group  of  birds  (Stolpe,  1927,  p.  4,  fig.  9;  p.  12,  fig,  4,  a).  Far  less 
faithful  to  nature  are  the  numerous  human  forms,  some  of  them  so  con- 
ventionalized as  to  warrant  conjecture  that  they  may  have  sprung  from 
some  geometrical  figure,  with  secondary  amplification  and  reading  in  of 
a  likeness  to  the  human  forms.  Yet  even  here  no  specifically  textile 
model  is  indicated.  Most  interesting  among  these  quasi-realistic  club 
decorations  are  twin  figures  in  juxtaposition  and  either  distinct  or  joined 
so  that  adjacent  arms  or  other  parts  of  the  body  coalesce  (Stolpe,  1927, 
pis,  9,  10).     Realistic  forms  also  appear  painted  or  drawn  in  charcoal 

653333 — 47—5 

40  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  IB.A.E.  Bull.  143 

on  the  bark  covering  of  house  walls  or  on  house  posts,  a  masculine  torso 
in  full  dance  regalia  being  an  ever  recurrent  sample.  Such  decoration 
of  posts  is  confined  to  the  upper  Caiari  (Vaupes)  River  and  the  neighbor- 
ing Aiari  River  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  348  f.)  ;  at  times  the  rear 
of  the  same  pillars  bears  the  picture  of  a  giant  snake.  On  the  lower 
and  middle  Xingu  a  maze  pattern  is  painted  on  the  body  or  incised  on 
utensils  {Shipaya). 

The  masks  of  the  Kaua,  pieces  of  bast  sewed  over  flexible  rods,  are 
painted  to  simulate  various  beasts,  small  red  circles  and  many  black  ones 
being  intended  to  suggest  the  spots  of  the  jaguar's  skin.  The  Cuheo 
have  bark-cloth  masks  representing  anthropomorphic  legendary  beings, 
such  as  demons  and  giants,  as  well  as  deer,  sloths,  snakes,  butterflies,  etc. 
(PI.  98;  also,  Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  7Z,  323-327,  pi.  4;  cf.  also  the 
Tucuna  bark-cloth  animals,  pi.  64.)  The  upper  Xingu  has  many,  well- 
made  masks  (p.  342).  Carved,  wooden  masks  are  used  by  several  tribes 
(pi.  44;  figs.  40-^2). 

Plastic  work  attains  considerable  heights  in  clay  (fig.  36),  wax  (pi.  102 ; 
fig.  23),  and  wood  (figs.  30,  31,  37).  The  effigy  pottery  and  the  acces- 
sories of  earthenware  vessels,  grotesque  and  extravagant  as  they  tend  to 
be,  indicate  much  dexterity  and  sophistication.  A  Palicur  turtle  in  clay 
is  admirably  faithful  to  nature  (Nimuendaju,  1926,  p.  48),  and  the  wax 
figurines  of  great  anteaters,  peccaries,  and  tapirs  by  the  Taulipdng  (Koch- 
Griinberg,  1923  b,  p.  126)  are  certainly  creditable.  In  wood,  the  benches 
or  stools  carved  from  a  single  block,  with  an  animal's  head  at  one  end 
and  its  tail  at  the  other  (fig.  37),  are  noteworthy  samples  of  native  skill. 
Caiman,  beetle,  jaguar,  and  snake  heads  are  among  those  realistically 
portrayed.  Doctors'  seats  are  as  a  rule  specially  decorated  (Roth,  1924, 
p.  273  et  seq. ;  Nimuendaju,  1926,  p.  61).  The  Cubeo  perform  certain 
dances,  holding  wooden  figures  of  fish,  birds,  and  lizards.  On  the  Apa- 
poris  River  the  masks  of  the  Opaina  are  topped  by  a  cylindrical  two- 
winged  headgear  of  very  light  wood,  both  the  body  and  the  lateral  pro- 
jections being  profusely  painted  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  397,  pi.  12). 

Ceramic  art  has  been  mentioned  (p.  26) . 

Games. — Many  scattered  tribes  from  the  Mojos-Chiquitos  area  and  the 
Guarani  to  the  Uaupes-Caqueta  region  and  the  Guianas  played  a  ball 
game,  many  using  a  special  rubber  ball. 

Another  widespread  ball  game  {Yecuana,  Taulipdng,  Bacdiri,  Macushi 
etc.)  is  shuttlecock,  played  with  maize  husks  (fig.  49,  c)  struck  with  the 
flat  of  the  hand.  A  similar  game  is  popular  among  young  men  on  the 
Caiari  (Uaupes  and  Ariari  Rivers  (p.  889).  The  Kepikiriwat  propel 
the  ball  with  their  heads  and  stake  arrows  on  the  issue  of  a  game. 

Other  athletic  sports  include  true  wrestling  and  a  curious  contest 
(Warrau,  p.  879),  in  which  each  player  tries  to  push  back  his  opponent 
or  throw  him  by  pressure  of  a  special  form  of  shield  against  his  ad- 


versary's.  Foot  races  in  the  savannas  over  distances  of  10  to  20  miles 
are  popular  among  the  Macushi,  who  recognize  champion  runners.  This 
sport  is  combined  with  a  drinking  bout  and  wrestling:  The  beverage 
brewed  is  stored  in  a  house  and  the  would-be  winner  has  to  force  an 
entry  against  guards  trying  to  prevent  his  ingress.  A  dance  follows 
(Roth,  1924,  p.  478  f.) 

Boys  from  an  early  age  practice  archery,  shooting  small  birds,  and 
organizing  sham  battles  and  hunts.  In  Guiana  there  are  also  diving  and 
other  water  sports.  Children  of  both  sexes  imitate  the  economic  activi- 
ties of  adults.  They  also  mimic  animals  to  the  accompaniment  of  songs 
and  model  clever  wax  figurines.  Girls  play  with  wooden  dolls  made 
by  their  fathers.  Macushi,  Carib,  and  Siusi  boys  walk  on  stilts  (fig.  115, 
right).  Tops  (Guianas,  upper  Xingii,  Montaiia,  etc.)  are  spun  by 
youngsters,  each  trying  to  upset  his  opponent's ;  and  there  are  likewise 
humming  tops  and  buzzers.  In  several  tribes  either  the  children  them- 
selves or  their  elders  often  make  the  rejects  of  plaitwork  into  elaborate 
toys  representing  such  objects  as  rattles  and  balls  or  animals,  like  fish 
and  fleas. 

Cat's-cradle  figures  exist  in  great  profusion  (e.g..  Roth,  1924,  pp. 
488-550) .    The  Andean  dice  game  was  played  by  Chirigumio. 

Dances. — Irrespective  of  magico-religious  connections,  the  dances  of 
the  area  have  various  social  associations  and  functions.  They  are  probably 
always  linked  with  singing  and  drinking  bouts;  they  serve  to  maintain 
friendly  relations  with  neighboring  tribes;  and  they  offer  opportunities 
for  barter,  gossip,  amatory  dalliance,  and  the  settling  of  quarrels.  To 
invite  outsiders,  the  chief  sends  messengers  with  mnemonic  cords  having 
a  knot  for  each  day  until  the  opening  of  the  festivity,  a  device  also  em- 
ployed on  other  occasions.  Major  enterprises  may  draw  together  not 
far  from  a  thousand  persons  among  the  Taiilipang,  with  possibly  200 
active  performers.  The  dances  follow  one  another  in  a  sequence  that 
is  presumably  fixed  at  least  in  particular  tribes.  In  Guiana  the  humming- 
bird dance  takes  precedence:  a  company  of  decorated  young  men  have 
to  fight  their  way  through  the  ranks  of  their  comrades  to  the  covered 
liquor-trough,  where  women  try  to  pour  pepper  into  their  eyes,  the 
victor  receiving  the  first  drink  and  every  one  then  capering  round  the 
trough.  Very  popular  are  dances  in  mimicry  of  animals,  the  performers 
sometimes  impersonating  a  whole  troup  of  monkeys  or  a  herd  of  peccaries. 
Women  take  part  in  some  dances,  but  are  excluded  from  others,  at  least 
as  active  performers. 

Some  dances  involve  no  special  paraphernalia ;  others  are  characterized 
by  a  profusion  of  ornaments  and  accessories.  In  the  parishara  of  the 
Taulipang  a  kind  of  masquerade  is  worn,  a  plaited  headgear  partly  covering 
the  face  and  a  long  fringe  descending  to  the  feet,  as  in  the  Rucuyen 
funeral  performance.     The  costume  wearers  blow  wooden  tubes  with 


42  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

gaily  painted  figurines  at  one  end,  while  in  the  other  hand  they  carry 
a  long  staff  with  pendent  deer  dew  claws  or  seed  capsules  at  the  top. 
The  dancers  form  a  long  Indian  file,  each  bending  his  knees,  stamping 
his  right  foot,  advancing  a  step,  flexing  the  upper  part  of  the  body,  then 
dragging  the  left  foot  forward.  Each  division  has  a  song  and  dance 
leader.  The  staff  is  struck  against  the  ground  in  rhythmic  unison  with 
the  steps.  When  the  performers,  starting  from  the  savanna,  have  reached 
the  village,  women  and  girls  join,  each  placing  her  right  hand  on  her 
male  partner's  left  shoulder,  or  both  hands  on  her  neighbor's  shoulders 
on  both  sides.  Now  an  open  ring  develops  and  the  performers  move 
forward  and  backward,  to  the  right  and  the  left,  uttering  shouts  after 
each  figure.  During  the  dancing  and  the  intermission  women  or  girls 
offer  calabashes  of  drink  to  the  performers. 

Some  dances  are  connected  with  mythological  tales  and  may  envisage 
magical  effects  in  fishing  and  hunting.  The  Apapocuva  Guarani,  haunted 
by  fear  of  an  impending  world  catastrophe,  tried  throughout  the  historic 
period  to  escape  destruction  under  the  leadership  of  shamans  who  were 
to  guide  them  through  sacred  dances  to  an  earthly  paradise  (p.  94). 
(Koch-Grunberg,  1923  b,  p.  154  et  seq.;  Roth,  1924,  pp.  470-483; 
Nimuendaju,  1914  c.) 

Music. — (For  general  treatment,  see  Izikowitz,  1935.) 

Although  stringed  instruments — musical  bows  and  violins — undoubtedly 
occur  in  the  area,  their  aboriginal  character  is  strongly  suspect.  There 
is  no  reference  to  them  in  the  earliest  post-Columbian  literature  and  the 
terms  applied  to  these  chordophones  are  in  the  main  clearly  derived  from 
Spanish  or  Negro  vocables.  It  is  also  noteworthy  that,  as  in  Africa, 
the  bow  is  usually  played  by  striking  the  string  with  a  stick  (Izikowitz, 
1935,  pp.  201-206). 

As  to  membranophones,  the  European  military  drum  gained  consider- 
able distribution  in  the  historical  period,  but  the  general  use  of  Spanish 
designations  again  casts  doubt  on  the  pre-Columbian  occurrence  of  these 
instruments  in  Amazonia,  though  Roth  does  not  consider  the  argument 
conclusive.  (Nordenskiold,  1930  a,  p.  165 ;  Roth,  1924,  p.  467;  Izikowitz, 
1935,  p.  193.) 

On  the  other  hand,  percussion  idiophones  are  well  represented.  Note- 
worthy in  view  of  Mexican,  Pueblo,  and  California  occurrences  is  the 
use  of  a  plank  foot  drum  by  the  Rucuyen  and  at  Arawak  funeral  cere- 
monies (Roth,  1924,  pp.  468  f.,  649 ;  Izikowitz,  1935,  pp.  11-13).  Equally 
significant  is  the  presence  of  the  tomtom  ("hollow-log  drum"),  in  eastern 
Ecuador  and  in  the  Orinoco  and  Rio  Negro  districts,  generally  for  signal- 
ing, as  among  the  Witoto  (pis.  81,  top;  99,  top).  Typically,  it  is  carefully 
hollowed  out  from  a  tree  trunk  so  as  to  leave  a  narrow  slit.  In  use  it 
is  generally  suspended  from  posts.  A  unique  adaptation  of  this  occurs 
among  the  Mangeroma   (p.  679).     The  widespread,  two-headed  skin 


drum  (pi.  62)  is  probably  of  European  origin.  Of  jingling  idiophone  ap- 
pendages the  deer-hoof  rattle  is  noteworthy,  being  reported  from  the 
Roraima  region  (Izikowitz,  1935,  p.  39).  More  important  are  rattles, 
those  from  gourds  (Lagenaria)  being  shaken  by  the  natural  grip,  while 
the  round  calabash  (Crescentia)  fruits  are  fitted  to  a  handle.  These 
instruments  are  often  the  special  property  of  medicine  men,  though 
children  may  use  basketry  imitations  (pi.  118,  /,  g).  They  occur  far 
beyond  the  Tropical  Forest  area,  as  does  the  time-marking  ground 
pounder — Metraux's  "baton  de  rhythme,"  Izikowitz's  "stamping  tube" — 
which  seems  to  have  spread  far  to  the  south  through  Tupi-Guarani  in- 
fluence. Most  frequently  a  bamboo  tube  {Witoto,  pi.  83,  bottom,  right; 
Cuheo,  pi.  96;  and  Roraima  Indians),  it  is  made  of  Cecropia  wood  in 
the  Rio  Negro  region  (Metraux,  1928  a,  pp.  215  f.,  225;  Izikowitz,  1935, 
pp.  151  et  seq.). 

Aerophones  are  likewise  conspicuous.  Trumpets  assume  many  forms: 
there  are  two-  and  three-bellied  clay  vessels  with  narrow  mouthpieces 
(Orinoco,  Guiana)  ;  long  tubes  of  spirally  wound  bark,  varying  in  size 
(Orinoco  River,  Vaupes  River,  Wapishana,  etc.,  pi.  39;  fig.  100)  and  in 
the  Rio  Negro  territory  strictly  concealed  from  women;  similar  wooden 
instruments  (pi.  101,  lejt) ;  conchs  (Guiana)  ;  Lagenaria  gourds 
{Wapishana)  ;  and  combinations  of  a  trumpet  with  a  resonator  of  gourd 
or  other  material  (fig.  46,  left).  Whether  the  clarinets  found  in  and 
near  Guiana  are  aboriginal,  is  as  yet  not  clear.  The  wind  instruments 
technically  definable  as  flutes,  include,  among  others,  clay  and  wooden 
whistles  (fig.  49,  a,  h,)  ;  quenas  or  notched  flutes  (Montafia)  ;  bone  flutes 
(fig.  48) ;  nose  flutes  {Nambicuara,  pi.  36,  top,  right;  Guiana)  ;  and 
panpipes  (pis.  36,  bottom,  left;  79).  The  last-mentioned  occur  through- 
out the  Tropical  Forest  and  appear  in  ancient  Peruvian  graves.  Similarity 
of  pitch  in  Melanesian  and  South  American  panpipes  led  Von  Horn- 
bostel  to  argue  for  their  transmission  to  the  New  World,  but  Izikowitz 
(1935,  pp.  378-408)  regards  the  question  as  still  open. 

Narcotics. — Although  widely  spread  and  generally  cultivated  in  our 
area,  tobacco  has  competitors  that  locally  overshadow  it.  In  the  north- 
west, coca  chewing  and  on  the  middle  Amazon,  parica  snuffing  make  it 
recede  into  the  background.  Among  the  Tuyuca,  guests  receive  both  a 
cigar  and  coca.  Witoto  councilors  chew  coca,  but  also  swear  oaths  by  lick- 
ing their  fingers  after  dipping  them  in  a  sirupy  mess  of  boiled  tobacco 

Coca  (Erythroxylon  coca)  appears  only  along  the  eastern  slope  of  the 
Andes,  except  in  Colombia,  where  it  spreads  eastward  in  the  Uaupes- 
Caqueta  region.  Spix  and  Martins  (1823-31,  3:  1169  f.,  1180)  found 
no  wild  samples  anywhere  in  Brazil,  and  did  not  strike  any  plantation 
before  reaching  Ega.  In  the  west,  however,  enormous  quantities  are 
consumed,  travelers  of  the  Caiari   (Uaupes)  district  taking  a  few  small 

44  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  TB.A.E.  Bull.  143 

sackfuls  of  coca  in  lieu  of  all  other  provisions  for  a  march  of  a  day  and 
a  half  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  174  f.,  204).  Only  the  men — the  main 
consumers — tend,  harvest,  and  prepare  the  plant.  They  roast  and  pound 
the  leaves  up,  mix  the  powder  with  the  ashes  from  Cecropia  leaves,  and 
store  the  combination  in  a  bast  bag  into  which  a  long  rod  is  inserted  and 
secured  by  tying  the  container  together.  By  tapping  the  rod,  the  user 
makes  the  powder  ooze  out  of  the  bast,  collecting  it  in  a  calabash,  from 
which  he  can  dip  it  up  with  a  spoon  or  a  leaf.  Travelers  sling  calabashes 
with  coca  powder  over  the  left  shoulder  and  suck  out  the  stimulant  with 
a  hollow  bone.  The  un familiarity  of  the  Chiquitos-Mojos  Indians  with 
coca  is  noteworthy  in  view  of  their  Andean  contacts. 

In  some  tribes  (Arecuna)  women  never  smoke,  in  others  both  sexes 
and  even  children  indulge  freely.  On  the  upper  Amazon,  Spix  and 
Martins  (1823-31,  3:  1180)  found  that  tobacco  is  most  frequently  used 
by  shamans,  who  blow  the  smoke  on  their  patients  (p.  50).  Bates 
(1863,  2:  407)  mentions  an  extraordinary  medicinal  use:  an  old  Ega 
Indian  cured  a  tumor  due  to  the  grub  of  a  gadfly  by  stupefying  the 
insect  with  strong  tobacco  juice,  thereby  causing  it  to  relax  its  grip  and 
facilitating  its  removal.  This  is  paralleled  among  the  Chacobo,  who 
grow  tobacco  for  this  exclusive  purpose  (Nordenskiold,  1922,  p.  182.). 

In  Guiana  tobacco  is  smoked  only  in  the  form  of  cigarettes,  the  bark 
of  certain  trees  providing  the  wrapper.  The  Tuyuca  and  Cubeo  (pi.  103, 
left)  circulate  giant  cigars  8  to  10  inches  (20  to  25  cm.)  long — clamped 
between  the  two  tines  of  a  forklike  holder.  Several  Guiana  tribes  chew 
tobacco,  mixing  it  with  salt  or  the  ashes  of  an  aquatic  plant  {M  our  era 
fluviatilis),  which  are  kept  in  little  gourds  with  a  stick  projecting  through 
the  stopper.  In  the  Montaria,  consumption  of  tobacco  was  formerly  re- 
stricted largely  to  shamans,  but  is  now  more  general. 

Parica  (yupa,  niopo)  snuff,  made  of  the  seeds  of  Mimosa  acacioides, 
likewise  has  a  considerable  distribution,  being  popular  on  the  lower 
Amazon  (Maue,  Oniagua),  and  the  Yapura,  as  well  as  sporadically  on 
the  Caiari  (Uaupes)  River.  In  the  Guapore  River  region  a  shaman 
blows  snuff  composed  of  crushed  angico,  tobacco  leaves,  and  bark  ashes 
into  his  patient's  nose.  The  Witoto  put  one  branch  into  the  mouth,  the 
other  into  one  nostril,  a  puff  of  breath  propelling  the  powder  into  the 
inner  portions  of  the  mucous  membrane.  These  people  also  have  an 
X-shaped  combination  of  two  bones,  by  which  two  friends  may  simul- 
taneously blow  snuff  into  each  other's  nostrils  (fig.  106).  Parica  evokes 
sneezing  and  extreme  exhilaration  to  the  point  of  frenzy,  followed  by 
depression  and  stupor.  It  may  figure  largely  at  festivals  (Spix  and 
Martins,  1823-31,  3  :  1074  f.) .  Parica  is  taken  as  an  enema  with  a  syringe 
in  the  Jurua- Purvis  region,  and  among  the  Mura  (p.  263). 

In  the  northwest  Amazon  region,  cayapi  (Banisteriopsis  caapi  and 
other  species;  see  p.  7),  is  a  favorite  stimulant,  served  as  an  infusion 


at  festivals,  such  as  the  Tucano  tribal  society's  dance,  in  order  to  induce 
delightful  hallucinations,  which  have  been  compared  to  those  due  to 
hashish.  All  things  appear  to  be  huge  and  gorgeously  colored,  there  are 
visions  of  motley-tinted  snakes  and  of  erotic  experiences.  Some  partakers 
fall  into  a  deep  sleep,  awakening  with  severe  headache.  On  novices  the 
brew  acts  as  an  emetic.  Women  never  drink  cayapi,  the  preparation  of 
which  is  wholly  a  masculine  task.  The  men  pound  up  the  roots,  stems, 
and  leaves  of  the  shrub  into  a  greenish-brown  mass,  which  is  washed 
with  water,  squeezed  dry,  and  again  pounded  and  washed.  The  resulting 
substance,  not  unlike  cow  dung  in  appearance,  is  strained  through  a 
double  sifter  into  the  bellied  cayapi  urn,  which  is  covered  with  leaves 
and  placed  outdoors.  It  has  two  horizontal  handles  and  two  perforations 
with  a  connecting  suspension  cord.  Though  never  washed,  the  vessel 
is  now  and  then  repainted  with  the  same  yellow  designs  on  a  dark-red 
background.  (See  also,  Koch-Grunberg,  1921,  pp.  189  fif.,  200  f.,  219  f., 

Other  stimulants,  largely  restricted  to  southeast  Colombia  and  tropical 
Ecuador,  are  floripondia  {Datura  arborea)  and  yoco  (Paulliniayoco). 
(See  p.  7.) 

Peppers  (Capsicum)  are  used  by  the  Macushi  as  a  stimulant,  crushed 
peppers  and  water  being  poured  into  the  nostrils  to  cure  headache.  In 
the  Pomeroon  district  Capsicum  enemas  are  in  vogue. 

Intoxicating  drinks. — Fermented  beverages  are  lacking  on  the  upper 
Xingu  and  among  many  Tupian  tribes,  but  for  large  sections  of  the  area 
the  drinking  spree,  as  an  end  in  itself  or  an  accompaniment  of  all  serious 
occasions,  is  diagnostic,  especially  in  contrast  to  the  Ge.  A  variety  of 
beverages  are  prepared,  of  which  the  narcotic  cayapi  has  already  been 
described.  Manioc  forms  the  most  common  base  of  fermented  drinks, 
generically  called  chicha,  but  may  be  only  one  of  several  ingredients. 

The  preparation  of  chicha  is  illustrated  in  the  Rio  Negro  region,  where 
it  is  called  cashiri.  The  Indians  mix  the  particles  of  toasted  manioc 
cakes  in  a  trough  with  fresh  water,  fermentation  being  accelerated  by 
the  addition  of  chewed  beiju.  The  chewing  is  done  mainly  by  women, 
who  carefully  knead  the  mass  together  with  leaves  of  a  certain  tree.  The 
trough,  tightly  covered,  is  allowed  to  stand  indoors  by  a  fire  maintained 
overnight,  yielding  a  sweetish,  harmless  brew.  Two  days'  fermentation 
is  required  for  intoxicating  effects,  which  a  woman  achieves  by  squeezing 
the  brown  gruel  through  a  basketry  strainer  into  a  pot,  from  which  she 
or  her  husband  serve  guests.  Sometimes  the  mass,  after  being  set  fer- 
menting, is  kept  wrapped  up  in  the  trough  of  a  large  pot,  to  be  strained 
with  water  when  an  occasion  for  use  arises.  Sweet  potatoes,  maize,  and 
the  fruits  of  the  pupunha  and  of  other  palms  may  all  be  substituted  for 
manioc  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  p.  39  f.),  to  which  in  modern  times 
sugarcane  juice  is  frequently  added. 

46  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  Barama  Carib  makes  cashirim  by  grating  and  squeezing  cassava, 
then  putting  it  into  a  large  pot  with  water,  into  which  they  spit  chewed 
portions  of  thin  manioc  cakes.  The  mixture  is  then  placed  in  the  house- 
hold trough  and  fermented  for  3  days,  when  it  acquires  the  alcoholic 
content  of  weak  beer.  For  another  chicha,  called  paiwari,  these  Indians 
thoroughly  toast  manioc  cakes;  small  fragments  of  these  are  put  into  a 
pot  filled  with  water  and  bits  of  chewed  cake  are  added,  as  for  cashirim, 
before  removal  to  the  trough.  The  toasting  produces  a  distinctive  cereal- 
like  taste  which  Gillin  compares  to  rye  toast  soaked  in  weak  beer;  it 
obviously  allies  the  brew  to  Rio  Negro  cashirim. 

In  other  parts  of  the  area,  a  great  variety  of  starchy  crops  and  of  wild 
fruits  are  made  into  chicha,  but  distillation  is  unknown  except  to  the 
Quijo,  among  whom  it  is  undoubtedly  a  post-Columbian  acquisition. 


High  Gods  and  tribal  heroes.— Roth's  denial  (1915,  pp.  117  fif.)  of 
any  notion  of  a  Supreme  Being  in  the  Guianas  is  not  literally  correct. 
According  to  an  early  author  quoted  by  him,  the  Sun  is  regarded  as  an 
outstanding  deity  by  some  Orinoco  tribes,  and  the  Moon  by  others;  the 
Barama  Carib  conceive  of  a  primeval  starter  of  the  universe  (Gillin, 
1936,  p.  155) ;  and  the  Witoto  deity  (Preuss,  1921,  pp.  25  et  seq.,  166), 
notwithstanding  the  curiously  abstract  statements  about  his  primeval 
doings,  is  even  more  definitely  a  creator  and  maintainer  of  the  world. 
The  Apapocuva  Guarani  speak  of  Our  Great  Father  as  the  creator,  and 
his  sons  figure  as  heroes.  Nevertheless,  generally  a  Supreme  Being,  if 
present,  recedes  in  religious  consciousness  before  other  beings. 

Among  these,  tribal  heroes  loom  large,  at  least  in  myth.  They  appear 
either  as  lone  figures,  pairs,  or  trios.  Thus,  the  Yahuna  tell  of  Milomaki, 
a  boy  who  suddenly  appeared  from  the  east  and  sang  so  beautifully  that 
everyone  came  to  hear  him.  But  when  his  auditors  came  home  and  ate 
fish,  they  all  fell  dead,  so  their  kinsfolk  burnt  the  boy  on  a  pyre.  His 
soul  rose  to  the  sky,  however,  and  out  of  his  ashes  grew  the  pashiuba 
palm,  whose  wood  the  people  made  into  large  flutes  that  reproduced  the 
wondrously  fine  tunes  sung  by  the  boy.  These  instruments — taboo  to 
women  and  small  boys,  who  would  die  if  they  saw  them — the  men  still 
play  when  fruits  are  ripe,  and  they  dance  in  honor  of  Milomaki  as  the 
creator  of  all  fruits  (Koch-Griinberg,  1923  b,  p.  386  f.).  The  Cubeo  tell 
of  Homanihiko,  whose  mother  drowns  while  big  with  him.  He  crawls 
out  of  her  womb  when  a  carrion  vulture  pierces  her  abdomen.  Flying 
on  the  bird's  back,  the  wonder-working  infant  transforms  his  own  grand- 
mother from  a  serpent  into  human  shape,  avenges  his  father's  death  by 
shooting  the  jaguar  responsible  for  it,  and  kills  all  manner  of  the  then 
quasi-human  beasts,  birds,  and  insects.  Although  two  brothers  of  the 
hero  are  mentioned,  he  alone  figures  as  the  national  ancestor.    One  of  his 


brothers,  however,  Kuai,  is  considered  the  inventor  of  masquerade  dances 
and  their  costumes;  the  other,  dwelHng  in  a  large  stone  house,  presides 
over  the  souls  of  the  dead. 

According  to  our  authority,  Kuai  is  originally  an  Arawakan  character, 
the  son  of  Yaperikuli,  the  national  hero  of  the  tribes  of  that  stock  in  the 
Rio  Negro  region.  He  is  credited  with  the  rock-drawings  seen  in 
Tariana  territory ;  and  on  the  Aiari  River  a  large  human  rock-engraving 
is  interpreted  as  Kuai,  after  whom  the  Siusi  name  their  sacred  flutes, 
taboo  to  women,  which  are  blown  at  a  festival  celebrated  when  certain 
palm  fruits  have  ripened.  Successive  flagellation  of  the  dancers  till  their 
blood  streams  from  their  wounds  characterizes  this  ceremonial,  which  is 
also  named  Kuai  (Koch-Griinberg,  1923  b,  pp.  69,  121,  261). 

Typical  twin  myths  are  known  from  the  Xingii  River  {Bacairi,  Ship- 
aya),  the  Tupi-Guarani  tribes,  the  Warrau,  and  the  Cariban  tribes.  In 
the  Guiana  form,  the  Sun  renders  a  woman  pregnant  with  twins,  then 
leaves  her.  She  follows  in  his  tracks,  guided  by  one  or  both  of  the  un- 
born children,  whom  she  affronts  so  that  advice  is  no  longer  forthcoming. 
As  a  result,  she  strays  to  the  Jaguar  house,  where  she  dies  (Warrau)  or 
is  killed  (Carib).  Either  the  Jaguar  or  Frog,  his  mother,  extracts  the 
twins  by  a  Caesarean  operation;  they  get  fire  for  mankind  (Warrau), 
avenge  and  restore  their  mother  (Carib),  and  finally  reach  their  father, 
where  they  turn  into  stars  (Carib).  In  the  Macushi  variant,  one  of  the 
twin  brothers  is  carried  off  by  a  crane,  but  the  other  develops  into  a 
culture  hero,  teaching  the  Indians  useful  things  as  he  travels  about  (Roth, 
1924,  pp.  130-136). 

It  is  not  clear  how  generally  the  tribal  heroes  are  prayed  to  or  other- 
wise worshiped,  but  Cubeo  supematuralism  centers  in  the  cult  of  the  clan 
ancestors  and  in  shamanism.  The  former  is  associated  with  the  boys' 
initiation,  at  which  the  novices  learn  about  sacred  musical  instruments, 
taboo  to  women,  and  are  whipped  to  make  them  grow.  Males  bathe  to 
the  sound  of  sacred  horns  when  seeking  strength.  Widespread  among 
Tupian  tribes  is  a  mythological  character — Our  Great  Father  of  the 
Guarani — associated  with  an  afterworld  of  happiness.  Among  both  the 
Tupinaniba  and  Guarani,  this  god  became  prominent  in  a  strong  messianic 
cult  (pp.90,  93-94,  131). 

Thunder  is  the  principal  deity  of  the  Nambicuara  and  reveals  himself 
to  shamans;  less  frequently,  to  other  adult  males.  He  is  an  important 
deity,  but  definitely  not  a  Supreme  Being  for  the  Guarani. 

Animism. — Animism  is  very  strongly  developed.  The  Taulipdng,  who 
credit  even  plants  and  animals  with  souls,  attribute  no  less  than  five  to 
mankind.  Only  one  of  these  goes  to  the  land  of  spirits  after  the  death 
of  the  body,  three  turn  into  birds  of  prey,  the  fifth  remains  with  the 
corpse  and  bears  the  same  name  as  a  demon  who  causes  eclipses.  The 
surviving  soul  goes  to  the  sky  via  the  Milky  Way ;  it  is  waylaid  by  dogs. 

48  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

which  destroy  it  if  its  owner  abused  his  dog  on  earth,  other  souls  being 
allowed  to  join  their  tribesmen. 

Widespread  notions  typical  of  primitive  belief  elsewhere  crop  up  here 
too.  Thus  the  Cubeo  hold  that  the  soul  leaves  the  body  in  dreams  and  in 
sneezing.     Great  significance  is  attached  to  dreams. 

Fundamental  to  the  entire  area  are  bush  spirits,  which  are  variously 
conceived  but  universally  feared,  so  that  a  common  function  of  the  shaman 
is  their  control.  The  Barama  Carib  recognize  five  distinct  categories 
with  a  controlling  master  within  each,  the  classes  being  associated,  respec- 
tively, with  the  forest  and  land  generally ;  the  air ;  the  water ;  the  hills ; 
and  miscellaneous  places  or  things,  such  as  houses  and  industries.  Each 
group  is  symbolized  by  a  stone  of  a  distinctive  color  or  texture,  sup- 
posedly represented  by  small  pebbles  in  the  rattle  of  the  shaman  through 
whom  the  spirits  are  approached.  In  addition,  the  Barama  Carib  recog- 
nize other  supernatural  beings  definitely  in  any  of  the  major  categories. 
The  bush  spirits  are  generally  mischief  makers,  causing  the  mishaps  of 
daily  life;  water  spirits  figure  as  on  the  whole  benevolent,  but  wreck 
travelers  who  venture  to  utter  certain  tabooed  words  while  in  a  boat. 
(See  also  Roth,  1924,  pp.  179  f.,  245  f.,  252.) 

The  TauHpdng  have  a  well-defined  belief  in  certain  beings  as  lords  or 
"fathers"  of  whole  classes  of  beasts,  etc.  Thus,  a  fisherman  must  pray 
to  the  master  of  fish  to  let  him  have  a  catch.  Supernatural  beings,  in- 
cluding animals,  are  supposed  to  be  really  anthropomorphic,  but  capable 
of  shifting  their  shape  by  donning  an  appropriate  covering.  Thus  the 
"father  of  game  animals,"  who  is  also  identified  with  the  rainbow,  turns 
into  a  large  snake  by  putting  on  a  mottled  skin,  as  does  the  "father  of 
fish" ;  and  the  jaguar  correspondingly  transforms  himself  from  human 
guise  by  clothing  himself  in  his  skin  ( Koch-Griinberg,  1923  b,  pp.  176- 
189).  Generically  similar  notions  appear  in  the  masquerade  dances  of  the 
Siusi  and  the  Cubeo,  whose  demons  are  identified  with  the  costume  worn  by 
the  performers,  though  the  spirits  themselves  are  visible  only  to  the 
medicine  men,  not  to  the  lay  spectator. 

The  conflict  of  good  and  evil  spirits  is  well  illustrated  at  Palicur  fes- 
tivals, where  each  decorative  feather  on  a  dancer's  headgear  is  the  seat 
of  a  supernatural  guardian,  and  the  feathered  staffs  bounding  the  cere- 
monial square  warn  the  protectors  against  the  advent  of  demons,  who 
bump  against  the  cord  connecting  the  posts.  Moreover,  the  pole  erected 
as  a  path  to  heaven  is  topped  with  a  dance  rattle  bearing  two  of  the  spirit 
feathers  and  is  further  guarded  by  half  a  dozen  feathered  staffs  at  its 
foot  (Nimuendaju,  1926,  pp.  66  f.,  87  f.). 

Shamanism. — Probably  a  temple  cult  with  priests  as  distinguished 
from  shamans  is  restricted  to  the  Mojos-Chiquitos  region.  On  the  other 
hand,  shamans — though  not  shamanistic  procedures — are  reported  as 
lacking  among  the  Siriono.    On  the  lower  Xingii,  the  shaman  intermedi- 


ates  between  living  people  and  the  gods  and  souls  of  the  dead,  but  curing 
is  a  secular  function. 

The  shaman  often  socially  overshadows  the  chief,  for  the  spirit  world 
is  most  commonly  approached  through  him  only.  Occasionally,  but  rarely 
and  probably  only  in  some  tribes,  women  practice.  A  son  often  inherits 
his  father's  profession,  but  this  is  by  no  means  a  universal  rule.  The 
shaman  is  primarily  a  doctor  and  detector  of  sorcerers,  but  may  also  act 
as  master  of  ceremonies  (e.g.,  Guarani,  p.  92;  Palicur),  counselor  in 
warfare,  prophet,  finder  of  lost  goods,  name  giver,  depository  of  tradition, 
weather  maker,  etc.  A  prospective  shaman  undergoes  a  long  period  of 
training  under  his  father  or  teacher,  during  which  he  diets,  is  instructed, 
acquires  familiar  spirits,  and  receives  in  his  body  various  magical  sub- 
stances or  objects  regarded  as  the  source  of  his  power  and,  when  pro- 
jected into  victims,  as  the  cause  of  disease.  He  is  also  given  tobacco  in 
various  forms  and  other  stimulants,  especially  in  the  northwest  Amazon 
region,  such  as  Datura  and  ayahuasca.  In  some  tribes,  the  shaman  re- 
ceives his  magical  substance  from  a  spirit,  in  others  from  his  tutor.  For 
a  few  tribes,  the  practitioner  is  stated  to  control  one  or  more  familiar 
spirits  (e.g.,  Tenetehara,  Tapirape,  pp.  147,  177).  In  the  western  Amazon, 
he  is  associated  with  the  jaguar  (p.  682).  There  is  no  evidence  that 
shamans  of  this  area  manifest  epileptic  or  other  abnormal  tendencies,  but 
trances,  usually  induced  by  drugs,  are  not  uncommon. 

The  magical  substance  is  usually  a  quartz  crystal  in  Guiana,  a  "thorn" 
or  "arrow"  in  the  region  of  the  western  Amazon  and  upper  Xingu.  Dur- 
ing his  initiation,  the  neophyte  gains  immunity  to  and  control  of  those 
substances,  which  he  is  supposed  to  take  into  his  body. 

The  foremost  insignia  of  the  shaman — widespread,  though  not  uni- 
versal— are  the  gourd  rattle,  the  crystal,  a  carved  and  painted  bench,  and 
a  doll  whose  position  during  treatment  indicates  whether  a  patient  is  to 
recover.  The  doll  is  reported  from  parts  of  Guiana.  The  Taulipdng 
medicine  man  shakes  a  bunch  of  leaves  instead  of  the  rattle  so  used  by 
doctors  from  Guiana  to  the  Caiari  (Uaupes)  River.  The  bench  seems 
most  characteristic  of  Guiana.  Crystals  turn  up  in  Guiana,  on  the 
Orinoco,  and  in  the  upper  Rio  Negro  region,  whither  they  may  have  been 
imported  from  the  Orinoco  ( Koch-Griinberg,  1923  b,  p.  208).  On  the 
Guapore  River  the  shaman's  insignia  are  a  snuffing  tube,  a  board  for  mixing 
snuff,  and  a  mystic  feathered  stick.  Among  the  powers  widely  claimed  by 
shamans  is  the  ability  to  transform  themselves  into  jaguars.  A  Cuheo 
shaman's  soul  enters  a  jaguar  when  he  dies,  thus  separating  itself  from 
other  people's  spirits,  which  join  the  clan  ancestors. 

Palicur  doctoring  is  in  most  ways  typical  (Nimuendaju,  1926,  pp.  91 
et  seq.) .  The  shaman  invariably  works  in  complete  darkness  under  a  mos- 
quito net — the  equivalent  of  a  special  palm-leaf  compartment  anciently 
used.  Putting  on  a  feather  diadem,  he  rises,  bids  all  present  farewell 
since  his  soul  is  about  to  start  on  its  journey,  and  crawls  under  the 

50  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

net,  an  assistant  passing  in  to  him  the  animal-shaped  bench  and  a  basket 
holding  the  shamanistic  paraphernalia.  The  doctor  sits  down,  removes 
from  his  basket  the  dance  rattle  and  a  root  whose  odor  the  spirits  like, 
for  which  reason  he  grates  away  particles  of  it  and  sprinkles  them  on 
his  hair.  The  assistant  next  hands  him  a  lighted  cigar.  Soon  groans, 
whistling,  and  singing  become  audible,  the  glowing  tip  of  the  cigar  is 
seen  floating  downward  from  the  ceiling  of  the  mosquito  net,  and  a  re- 
sounding footstep  signalizes  the  entrance  of  the  first  spirit  into  the 
medicine  man's  body.  His  own  soul  has  left  to  summon  the  friendly 
spirits,  including  those  of  the  dead.  Each  of  these  sings  his  own  chants 
to  the  music  of  the  rattle,  all  spectators  joining.  After  5  to  10  minutes 
of  singing,  the  spirit  converses  with  the  assistant.  Those  present  ques- 
tion the  visitant  about  their  own  affairs.  At  last  there  arrives  one  spirit 
considered  expert  in  the  treatment  required,  and  him  the  assistant  con- 
sults. This  continues  for  hours  until  the  last  spirit  leaves,  as  indicated 
by  the  soaring  cigar  tip.  The  shaman  crawls  out  of  his  compartment. 
Another  procedure  is  to  bring  the  patient,  too,  under  the  net.  In  actual 
treatment  the  doctor  undresses  the  sick  man,  shakes  his  rattle  all  over 
the  body  till  he  strikes  the  seat  of  the  malady,  then  summons  his  patrons 
against  the  causes  of  the  disease,  which  may  precipitate  a  noisy  conflict. 
If  the  powers  of  evil  conquer,  the  doctor  admits  his  failure  and  casts 
about  for  a  more  competent  colleague.  Extraction  of  the  disease  by 
suction  is  also  reported,  but  not  reckoned  essential.  A  cured  patient 
regales  his  savior  with  a  dance  and  drinking-festival,  which  is  naturally 
directed  by  the  successful  doctor. 

Some  of  these  traits,  even  apart  from  the  sucking  technique,  have  a 
wide  distribution.  The  insistence  on  darkness,  for  example,  occurs  among 
the  Pomeroon  Arawak  and  Carib.  Certain  Palicur  features  are  elaborated 
elsewhere:  The  Siusi  shaman  massages  out  of  the  patient  five  sticks  as 
the  agents  of  the  disease  and  not  merely  puffs  a  cigar,  but  blows  the 
smoke  on  the  patient — a.  prevalent  practice  throughout  the  Tropical 
Forests  (pi.  120,  center) — and  himself  swallows  the  smoke;  again,  the 
Taulipdng  shaman  drinks  tobacco  juice  to  expedite  his  soul  to  the  sky. 
Ventriloquism  seems  highly  developed  by  the  Taulipdng;  a  Northwest 
Brazilian  specialty  is  pouring  cupfuls  of  an  aromatic  infusion  over  the 
patient's  head  and  body  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  97  f.,  113).  The 
Montafia  and  northwest  Amazon  doctor  extracts  needles  or  thorns  as 
pathogenic  agents  (pp.  532,  703). 

Fees  are  often  contingent  on  a  cure.  In  recent  times  a  Taulipdng 
healer  is  usually  compensated  with  European  goods.  A  Cubeo  receives 
urucu,  pottery,  bows,  or  hammocks.  The  Palicur  express  their  appreci- 
ation by  a  feast. 

The  nonmedical  duties  of  a  Palicur  shaman  are  illustrated  during  fes- 
tivals, when  he  consecrates  feathers,  dance  rattles,  and  carved  settees  by 
blowing  smoke  on  them,  thereby  causing  spirits  to  enter  these  objects, 


whence  they  are  expelled  at  the  close  of  the  ceremony  (Nimuendaju,  1926, 
pp.  95,  98  f.) 

Bad  shamans  may  practice  magic  or  summon  spirits  to  harm  personal 
enemies,  but  most  tribes  deal  severely  with  such  sorcerers.  Alleged 
witchcraft  is  a  usual  incentive  for  murder,  and  consequently  the  most 
common  cause  of  warfare,  as  it  initiates  a  series  of  reprisals. 

Soul-loss  as  a  cause  of  disease  has  been  recorded  from  few  tribes — e.g., 
Cocama,  Omagua,  Coto,  and  Itonama — but  it  is  a  concept  that  would 
escape  superficial  observation. 

Kanaima.— (Gillin,  1936,  pp.  99  f.,  149-152;  Roth,  1915,  pp.  346,  354 
et  seq. ;  Koch-Griinberg,  1923  b,  pp.  216-219.)  This  term  and  its  equiva- 
lents in  Guiana  designate  (a)  a  certain  evil  spirit;  (&)  the  man  possessed 
by  it  or  otherwise  driven  to  devote  himself  to  a  work  of  vengeance;  (c) 
the  procedure  followed  by  the  avenger,  including  the  poison  or  other 
means  employed.  In  any  case,  the  concept  denotes  the  most  malevolent 
antisocial  behavior.  Among  the  Barama  Carib,  the  prospective  kanaima 
is  regarded  as  joining  a  cult,  learning  from  its  headman  the  arts  of  enter- 
ing houses  unseen,  benumbing  one's  victims,  and  inflicting  incurable 
ailments.  Kanaimas  are  accordingly  outlawed,  killing  them  being  a  mer- 
itorious deed.  The  Taulipdng,  Tucanoan,  Witotoan,  Jivaro,  or  Campa 
belief  in  jaguar  shamans  merges  in  the  kanaima  concept,  for  the  kanaima 
often  dons  the  jaguar  pelt  in  order  to  alarm  and  kill  people.  Contagious 
magic  is  likewise  imputed  to  these  individuals;  they  enclose  a  victim's 
spittle  in  a  bamboo  container  and,  by  working  magic  over  it,  destroy 
the  expectorator.    Hostile  tribes  are  often  regarded  as  kanaimas. 

Medicine. — (Roth,  1924,  pp.  702-714.)  Apart  from  supernatural  treat- 
ment, a  shaman  may  employ  techniques  open  to  the  laity.  Prominent 
among  Guiana  remedies  are  emetics,  e.g.,  the  bitter  bark  of  the  wallaba 
tree  (Eperua  sp.),  of  which  two  or  three  drams  are  boiled  in  a  quart  of 
water,  a  few  spoonfuls  making  an  effective  dose.  Purgatives  include  the 
root  of  Cephaelis  ipecacuanha.  In  Guiana  enemas  are  made  from  a  turtle, 
jaguar,  or  other  mammalian  bladder  attached  to  a  reed  nozzle ;  and  rubber 
syringes  characterize  tribes  on  the  Amazon.  Vapor  baths  occur:  while 
the  patient  rests  in  his  hammock,  red-hot  stones  are  thrown  into  a  large 
vessel  of  water  under  him  (Macushi,  Guinau)  ;  or  water  is  thrown  on 
large  heated  stones  so  as  to  envelop  him  in  the  steam.  Rucuyen  women 
take  such  vapor  baths  after  confinement.  Bleeding  is  frequently  used  for 
fatigue,  stiffness  in  the  limbs,  and  other  ailments.  Ant  bites  serve  as 
counterirritants  in  cases  of  rheumatism  and  fever,  the  patient  sometimes 
rolling  himself  in  an  ant's  nest.  Many  domestic  remedies  against  fevers, 
diarrhea,  dysentery,  and  other  afflictions  consist  of  decoctions  or  infusions 
of  the  inner  bark  of  certain  trees.  Guarana,  a  hard  substance  made  from 
the  pounded  seeds  of  Paullinia  sorbilis,  is  prepared  by  the  Maue,  who 
have  a  virtual  monopoly  of  it,  and  widely  traded  as  a  medicine  against 
diarrhea  and  intermittent  fevers ;  it  is  grated  and  then  mixed  with  water 

52  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B,A.E.  Bull.  143 

(p.  252).  For  sting-ray  wounds  the  Indians  of  the  lower  Amazon  apply 
a  poultice  of  mangrove  bark  mixed  with  palm  oil.  The  sticky  gum  of 
Eperua  serves  as  a  plaster  for  wounds.  For  snake  bite  the  wound  is 
cut  out  and  sucked,  but  some  tribes  also  administer  antidotes  in  the  form 
of  infusions;  on  the  Essequibo  River,  the  decoction  of  a  certain  root 
was  both  drunk  and  poured  upon  the  wound.  On  the  upper  Amazon, 
Cyperus  roots  were  attributed  many  therapeutic  and  magic  virtues. 

Magic  and  ritual  practice. — The  machinations  of  witches  and  sor- 
cerers have  already  been  noted,  with  the  occasional  practice  of  contagious 
magic.  The  Indians  of  the  Guapore  River  (p.  378)  believe  in  an  invisible 
fluid  which  shamans  may  introduce,  for  good  or  evil,  into  food  or  human 
bodies.  Impersonal  supernaturalism  is  prominent  in  the  prescriptions 
and  taboos  incident  to  birth  and  other  critical  situations.  (See  Life 
Cycle,  p.  35.)  The  belief  in  a  sympathetic  bond  between  related  individ- 
uals extends  beyond  the  couvade  in  the  general  rule  in  Guiana  that  a 
patient's  whole  family  must  share  his  dietary  restrictions  (Roth,  1915, 
p.  352),  a  notion  shared  by  some  Northern  Ge.  A  principle  akin  to 
sympathetic  magic  also  appears  in  the  use  of  certain  varieties  of  caladia 
to  attract  particular  animals  and  fish  because  of  some  fancied  similarity: 
A  "deer"  caladium  is  supposed  to  suggest  horns  and  the  coloring  of  the 
fur  in  its  venation,  an  "armadillo"  caladium  resembles  the  animal  in 
having  small  projecting  ears,  etc.  (Roth,  1915,  p.  281  £.). 

Taboos  are  innumerable.  To  mention  only  a  few,  chosen  for  their 
comparative  interest,  Guiana  tribes  will  not  tell  spirit  legends  in  the  day- 
time nor  utter  a  person's  name  in  his  presence ;  a  hunter  never  brings 
his  kill  home,  but  leaves  it  for  the  women  to  fetch.  The  Arazvak  abstain 
from  eating  after  nightfall  lest  they  be  transformed  into  animals ;  during 
the  couvade,  Macushi  parents  must  substitute  a  special  scratcher  for 
their  fingernails  (Roth,  1915,  pp.  193,  294-295,  304,  323).  Of  these,  the 
last-mentioned  recurs  as  far  south  as  the  Yahgan,  and  the  name-taboo 
is  equally  pronounced  among  the  Siusi  and  Cuheo  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921, 
pp.  117,  311).  Some  taboos,  such  as  the  story-telling  one  and  the  pro- 
hibition of  women  from  seeing  the  instruments  sacred  to  a  spirit  (Koch- 
Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  119,  322)  on  pain  of  automatic  death  are,  of  course, 
associated  with  animistic  notions. 

Of  positive  prescriptions  may  be  cited  the  talismanic  application  of 
red  body  paint,  scarification,  and  the  ever  recurrent  flagellation. 

Of  extraordinary  interest  are  the  magical  formulae  of  the  Taulipdng, 
which  the  discoverer,  Koch-Griinberg  (1923  b,  pp.  219-270)  aligns  with 
Cherokee  and  Hupa  equivalents  in  North  America.  They  are  the  prop- 
erty of  laymen  on  equal  terms  with  shamans  and  serve  mainly  to  cure 
or  impose  bodily  afflictions.  These  spells  are  linked  with  brief  tales  ex- 
pounding how  ancestral  beings  introduced  various  ills  into  the  world,  which 
can  be  removed  with  the  aid  of  beasts  or  plants  somehow  associated  with 


the  malady.  Thus,  intestinal  worms  are  overcome  by  declamation  of  a 
formula  in  which  two  dogs  are  addressed,  for  dogs  suffer  from  these 
worms  without  dying  from  them. 

A  number  of  ritual  and  semiritual  practices  are  found  in  the  area,  en- 
tering various  contexts.  The  ant  ordeal,  associated  especially  with  boy's 
puberty  in  the  Guianas  and  among  several  Tupian  tribes  south  of  the 
Amazon,  is  used  by  the  Mura  to  insure  fishing  success.  Flagellation 
enters  the  Vaupes-Caqueta  boy's  initiation  into  the  ancestor  cult  and 
the  Macushi  girl's  puberty  rite,  but  the  Mura  whip  children  to  increase 
manioc  yield  and  adults  to  give  them  strength,  the  Chehero  flog  pubescent 
girls,  and  the  Guiana  Arawak  whip  one  another  at  a  funeral  ceremony 
to  drive  away  evil  spirits.  In  the  Montaiaa,  several  tribes  put  pepper 
in  the  eyes  of  hunters  for  clear  vision  and  strength,  but  the  Pomeroon 
Arawak  take  pepper  in  enemas  as  a  curative.  Similarly,  the  several 
kinds  of  snuff  and  tobacco  in  various  forms  were  taken  for  many  purposes. 

Ceremonialism. — Ceremonials  connected  with  the  life  cycle — birth, 
puberty,  initiations,  and  death — are  most  pronounced  and  have  been  men- 
tioned. Many  tribes,  especially  the  Tupians,  had  rites  concerned  with 
subsistence  activities,  some  even  resembling  harvest  ceremonies.  Of  this 
type  are  Mundurucu  festivals  for  maize  and  manioc  growth  and  for 
hunting  and  fishing  success,  when  a  shaman  makes  offerings  to  fish 
skulls;  the  Guarani  and  Tapirape  harvest  ceremony;  the  Tenetehara 
honey  festival  to  protect  growing  maize ;  the  Cashinawa  dance  to  influence 
the  maize  spirit;  the  Camayura  hunting  and  fishing  ceremony;  and  the 
Trumai  manioc  ceremony. 

In  the  Rio  Negro  country  the  mystic  significance  of  the  number  five 
is  conspicuous.  A  funeral  festivity  opens  5  days  after  the  burial  and 
continues  for  5  days,  as  does  a  mother's  post-natal  seclusion;  youths 
initiated  by  flagellation  are  subject  to  5-month  dietary  taboos ;  an  accepted 
suitor  spends  5  days  in  his  prospective  father-in-law's  house ;  the  lament 
over  the  dead  lasts  5  days ;  a  shaman  extracts  5  sticks  ( Koch-Griinberg, 
1921,  pp.  98,  107,  113,  116,  196,  263,  308,  310,  314,  322,  329).  Else- 
where there  is  no  such  unequivocal  preference,  yet  the  Taulipdng  believe 
in  5  human  souls,  make  the  shaman's  apprentice  drink  a  bark  infusion 
for  5  nights,  and  have  sporadic  references  to  10  and  other  multiples  of 
five  (Koch-Grunberg,  1923  b,  pp.  170,  189,  203,  205). 

The  major  festivals  on  the  upper  Rio  Negro  seem  to  fall  into  two  main 
categories:  (a)  those  associated  with  musical  instruments  taboo  to 
women;  (b)  performances  by  mummers.  The  costumes  and  dances  (p. 
41)  characteristic  of  the  second  type  are  at  least  sometimes  linked  with 
a  memorial  service  in  honor  of  a  recently  deceased  tribesman.  Their 
object  is  said  to  be  complex — appeasement  of  spirits  by  their  impersona- 
tion and  promotion  of  fertility  by  phaHic  dances  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921, 
pp.  82  et  seq.,  324  et  seq.).     All  sorts  of  animals  may  be  realistically 

54  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

mimicked.  The  other  type  of  performance,  the  "Yurupary"  dance  of 
the  Lingua  Geral,  may  be  regarded  as  the  basis  of  a  men's  tribal  society 
(but  see  p.  704).  The  sacred  instruments  symboHze  the  spirit  to 
whom  the  ceremonial  is  dedicated,  and  flogging  of  the  novices  is  a  pre- 
requisite to  entrance  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  120  f.,  130,  135  £., 
198  fJ.,  217  fif.,  263,  314  f.,  322,  372).  The  Mundurucu  tell  a  myth  about 
a  pristine  matriarchate,  the  women  making  their  spouses  do  all  the  work 
while  themselves  lived  in  the  club  house  and  played  wind  instruments. 
Once,  however,  the  men  detected  them  in  the  act,  took  the  flutes  away 
from  them,  and  reversed  the  relative  status  of  the  sexes  (Kruse,  1934, 
1 :  51-57).  This  tale  is  obviously  very  similar  in  essence  to  the  Fuegian 
story  of  a  great  revolution  depriving  women  of  the  ascendancy  they  en- 
joyed as  possessors  of  masks. 

In  the  Shipaya  feast  of  the  dead,  the  souls  enter  the  shaman's  body. 
Among  the  same  people,  Kumapari,  father  of  twin  heroes  and  identified 
with  the  jaguar,  is  the  center  of  a  cult  which  involves  cannibalism. 


Under  the  head  of  Religion,  Shamanism,  and  Medicine  (p.  46),  certain 
hero  myths  have  been  indicated.  For  lack  of  preliminary  work,  it  is  impos- 
sible to  offer  a  comparative  tribal  study,  let  alone  one  on  the  literary 
styles.  The  culture  hero,  whose  main  contribution  to  mankind  was  do- 
mesticated plants,  is  universal  in  the  area,  as  indeed  elsewhere.  In  some 
tales  he  is  also  the  Creator;  associated  with  him  is  a  trickster,  often  his 
brother.  For  the  Witoto  we  have  a  useful  roster  of  themes,  but  Preuss's 
bias  in  favor  of  lunar  interpretations  mars  his  presentation.  However, 
he  shows  the  prevalence  of  stories  revolving  about  the  elopement  of  either 
spouse  and  the  urge  for  vengeance  (Preuss,  1921,  1 :  115  et  seq.). 

In  view  of  the  nature  of  the  available  material,  it  is  merely  feasible  to 
list  a  number  of  important  motifs.  Some  of  them  have  an  extremely 
wide  range,  far  beyond  the  Forest  area,  as  demonstrated  in  Koch-Griin- 
berg's  popular  collection  (1927). 

Remarkable  is  the  Witoto  story  of  the  incestuous  nocturnal  lover  whom 
his  sister  identifies  by  painting  him  (Preuss,  1922,  pp.  107,  331).  A 
still  closer  analogy  to  the  Eskimo  tale,  however,  occurs  among  the  Ship- 
aya on  the  Iriri  River,  a  tributary  of  the  Xingii  River,  where  the  brother 
is  identified  with  the  moon,  as  he  is  by  the  Canelo  of  eastern  Ecuador, 
the  Warrau  and  Arawak  of  Guiana.  (Nimuendajii,  1919-20,  vols.  14-15, 
p.  1010  f.;  Karsten,  1935,  p.  522;  Roth,  1915,  p.  256.) 

A  motif  of  pan-American  interest  that  occurs  in  many  distinct  set- 
tings is  the  rolling  skull.  In  the  Cashinazva  version,  a  decapitated  man's 
skull  rolls  after  his  own  kin,  transforming  itself  into  the  moon  and  also 
creating  the  rainbow  and  menstruation  (Capistrano  de  Abreu,  quoted  by 
Koch-Griinberg,  1927,  p.  232  et  seq.).    The  motif,  known  from  the  Chaco, 


occurs  among  such  people  as  the  Warrau  and  the  Shipaya  (Roth,  1915, 
pp.  129;  Nimuendaju,  1921-22,  p.  369).  Its  African  occurrence  raises 
the  recurring  problem  of  possible  Negro  influence  (Weeks,  1913,  p.  208), 
which  arises  also  concerning  the  tale  of  the  perverted  message  that  brings 
death  to  mankind  (Jurua-Purus). 

The  magical  flight,  though  rare  in  South  America,  is  attested  for  the 
Mundurucu  and  the  Carajd  (Koch-Griinberg,  1927,  pp.  203,  227). 

Sharpened-Leg,  the  man  who  whittles  down  his  leg  and  attacks  his 
companion  with  it,  figures  in  Warrau  and  Carib  lore  (Roth,  1915,  pp. 
195  f.),  as  well  as  in  Shipaya  (Nimuendaju,  1921-22,  p.  370)  and  Ge 

The  ascent  to  the  sky  by  an  arrow-chain  is  related  by  the  Guarayu  in 
the  Madeira  drainage  (Koch-Griinberg,  1927,  p.  283),  as  well  as  by  the 
Jivaro,  Tupinamha,  Cunmna,  and  Chiriguano.  The  division  of  people 
in  climbing  from  the  sky  to  the  earth  or  from  the  underworld  to  our 
earth  because  of  a  stout  individual  blocking  the  passage  is  common  to 
the  Warrau,  Carajd,  Mundurucu,  and  several  tribes  of  the  Montaiia.  This 
certainly  recalls  the  North  American  Mandan-Hidatsa  story  of  the  preg- 
nant woman  breaking  the  vine  that  led  from  a  cave  to  the  upper  world. 
The  North  American  thunderbird  also  turns  up  (Chiriguano). 

Among  more  generic  themes  found  within  the  area  may  be  cited  the 
suitor's  tests,  the  deluge,  the  destruction  of  the  world  by  fire,  and  etiolog- 
ical animal  tales,  the  requisition  of  fire,  and  the  Amazon  women. 


Economic  and  technological  pursuits  involve  considerable  empirical 
knowledge,  which  is  likewise  displayed  in  the  sportive  mimicry  of  the 
animal  dances.  Intricately  tied  up  with  their  practical  occupations  is 
the  Indians'  star  lore.  In  Guiana,  at  least,  the  year  is  divided  not  into 
lunar  months  but  into  seasons  defined,  above  all,  by  the  regular  suc- 
cession of  the  stars  and  constellations  in  certain  positions  in  the  sky. 
The  Pleiades  are  of  special  importance,  their  rising  from  the  east  or 
disappearing  in  the  west  marking  the  advent  of  the  wet  and  dry  seasons 
and  especially  indicating  the  proper  time  to  commence  agricultural  oper- 
ations. The  various  stars  are  also  associated  with  game,  fish,  and  plants 
in  season.  The  year,  in  short,  is  determined  by  the  reappearance  of  the 
Pleiades  and  is  subdivided  according  to  the  appearance  of  other  con- 
stellations, which  are  correlated  with  the  abundance  of  economically  sig- 
nificant animals  and  plants.  The  rainy  and  the  dry  season  bear 
distinctive  designations,  and  their  advent  is  foretold  by  special  observa- 
tions— on  the  size  of  the  young  turtles,  the  croaking  of  the  rain  frog,  etc. 

To  indicate  the  number  of  days  before  some  such  event  as  a  feast,  the 
Guiana  host  (or  party  of  the  first  part)  sends  to  the  guest  (or  partner) 
a  knotted  string,  of  which  he  retains  a  replica.     Each  morning  the  two 

56  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

men  concerned  untie  one  knot,  the  knotless  cord  being  supposed  to  cor- 
respond to  the  day  of  arrival.  The  Palicur  substitute  for  the  cord  a 
bundle  of  rods  suspended  from  a  reed,  turning  down  both  ends  of  each 
stick  every  day  (Nimuendaju,  1926,  p.  94).  This  device  strikingly 
resembles  North  American  Choctaw  practice. 

Distances  are  reckoned  by  the  number  of  nights  required  for  the 

Remarkable  geographical  knowledge  and  cartographic  skill  are  evi- 
denced by  the  maps  of  the  Taulipdng,  who  are  accustomed  to  outline 
their  itinerary  on  the  ground  and  to  indicate  the  shapes  of  mountains 
by  an  accumulation  of  sand.  Native  sketchers  will  recite  the  names  of 
rivers  and  their  affluents  in  order,  marking  waterfalls,  and  defining  the 
appearance  of  peaks  (Koch-Griinberg,  1923  b,  pp.  90,  118;  pis.  34,  35). 
Similar  maps,  including  an  astronomical  star  chart,  are  made  in  the 
Rio  Negro  region  (Koch-Griinberg,  1921,  pp.  160,  213).  (Roth,  1924, 
pp.  715-720;  see  also  upper  Xingu,  p.  348.) 


A  Taulipdng  never  enters  a  strange  house  unbidden,  but  remains 
standing  at  the  entrance  until  asked  to  enter.  A  speaker  is  never  inter- 
rupted; on  official  occasions  a  long  oration  is  merely  punctuated  by 
polite  interjections  on  the  auditor's  part.  In  such  situations  neither 
interlocutor  looks  at  the  other,  both  staring  fixedly  into  space — a  usage 
rather  common  among  South  American  tribes  (Koch-Grunberg,  1923  b, 
p.  Ill  f.).  On  the  Caiari  River,  any  one  leaving  on  a  specific  errand, 
such  as  going  to  hunt  or  farm  or  even  to  ease  himself,  announces  the 
fact  to  the  other  inmates,  who  encourage  him  to  go  about  his  business 
(Koch-Grunberg,  1921,  p.  280  f.). 

Commonly  men  and  women  eat  separately.  Hands  are  carefully  washed 
before  and  after  meals.  At  a  party  it  is  inadmissible  to  refuse  a  drink, 
for  such  an  act  evokes  suspicion. 

The  etiquette  regulating  kinship  behavior  and  the  procedures  at  cere- 
monial situations  have  ,been  considered  under  appropriate  heads  (Roth, 
1924,  pp.  235-239,  620-631). 

The  widespread  weeping  salutation  also  appears  in  this  area  {Guarani, 


Acuiia,  1641;  Bates,  1863  (1892)  ;  Friederici,  1925;  Gillin,  1936;  Im  Thurn,  1883; 
Izikowitz,  1935;  Karsten,  1935;  Killip  and  Smith,  1931 ;  Kirchhoflf,  1931,  1932;  Koch- 
Grunberg,  1906  a,  1921,  1923  a,  1923  b,  1927;  Kruse,  1934;  Linne,  1925;  Mangelsdorf 
and  Reeves,  1939 ;  Metraux,  1928  a,  1928  b ;  Nimuendaju,  1914  c,  1919-20,  1921-22, 
1926,  1930  b;  Nordenskiold,  1912,  1917  c,  1919  a,  1920,  1922,  1924  a,  1924  b,  1930  a, 
1930  c,  1931  b;  Palmatary,  1939;  Preuss,  1921,  1922;  Roth,  1915,  1924;  M.  Schmidt, 
1905,  1914,  1917;  Setchell,  1921;  Speiser,  1926;  Spix  and  Martius,  1823-31;  Stirling, 
1938;  Stolpe,  1927;  Weeks,  1913 ;  Whiffen,  1915. 

Part  1.     The  Coastal  and  Amazonian  Tupi 


By  Fkancisco  de  Aparicio 


At  the  beginning  of  historic  times  various  groups  of  native  peoples 
lived  along  the  lower  Parana  River,  from  its  confluence  with  the  Paraguay 
to  the  Delta.  Some  of  these  peoples  were  island  dwellers  and  navigators ; 
others  lived  along  the  banks  of  the  river  and  were  adapted  to  both  a 
riverine  and  terrestrial  life.  Still  others  were  land  hunters  who,  perhaps, 
came  only  seasonally  to  the  river  to  fish.  The  latter  do  not  concern  us 
here,  but  the  first  two  groups,  the  island  peoples  and  those  who  lived 
permanently  along  the  Parana  littoral  are  considered  here  as  typical 
inhabitants  of  the  Parana. 


At  its  confluence  with  the  Paraguay,  the  Parana  River  turns  south 
to  form  the  lower  Parana.  In  this  southward  course  its  width  varies 
from  1  to  234  kilometers  (^  to  Ij^  miles)  in  the  north  and  gradually 
widens  toward  the  south.  The  great  volume  of  alluvium  which  the  river 
carries  has  resulted  in  the  formation  of  numerous  islands  at  the  Delta 
which  are  dissected  by  small  streams.  Ramirez,  in  referring  to  these 
islands,  said  that :  "There  were  so  many  that  they  could  not  be  counted." 
They  are  a  characteristic  feature  of  the  Parana  Delta  landscape,  and  they 
offered,  in  the  past,  exceptionally  advantageous  sites  for  the  dwellings 
of  native  peoples. 

The  banks  of  the  Parana  are  quite  irregular  in  appearance.  The  left 
margin,  from  Corrientes  to  Diamante,  where  the  formation  of  the  Delta 
begins,  is  in  some  places  high  and  falls  sharply  to  the  river,  forming 
steep  bluffs  30  meters  (about  100  ft.)  in  height.  At  other  places  the 
decline  from  the  high  ground  to  the  river  is  more  gradual.  These 
gradual  slopes  usually  form  the  transitional  terrain  between  the  river  and 
the  typical  monte  country  of  the  region.  The  right  margin  of  the  Parana, 
on  the  other  hand,  is  low.  A  flooded  zone,  of  10  to  40  kilometers  (about 
6  to  25  miles)  in  width,  borders  the  river  down  to  the  city  of  Santa  Fe. 


58  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

From  there,  to  the  confluence  of  the  Carcarana,  the  Coronda  subsidiary 
defines  the  edge  of  the  firm  land  that  rises  only  a  little  above  the  ordinary 
level  of  the  waters.  South  of  the  Carcarana,  the  river  bank  rises  to  high 
clififs ;  and  these  highlands,  in  some  places,  continue  inland  for  a  short 
distance.  This  same  topography  continues  down  the  Plata  to  the  vicinity 
of  Buenos  Aires.  The  Indians  occupied  these  highlands,  and  undoubtedly 
it  was  on  the  heights  that  the  conquistadors  had  their  first  contact  with 
the  natives,  as  the  flood  plains  were  nearly  always  inaccessible. 

The  lower  Parana  has  numerous  left  tributaries,  the  most  voluminous 
of  which  is  the  Ibera  draining  a  large  basin.  The  other  tributaries  flow 
from  the  western  watershed  of  the  Argentine  Mesopotamia.  These 
rivers  were  good  locations  for  primitive  communities,  but  archeological 
evidence  indicates  that  they  were  occupied  only  near  their  mouths.  On 
the  right  bank,  the  Parana  receives  two  tributaries  which  were  of  great 
significance  in  the  life  of  the  pre-Columbian  populations.  These  are 
the  Salado,  which  crosses  the  country  from  the  border  of  the  Puna  de 
Atacama  to  Santa  Fe,  and  the  Carcarafia,  which  descends  the  Sierra  de 
Comechingones.  According  to  the  geographical  information  which  the 
Indians  of  Sancti  Spiritu  supplied  to  the  explorer  Cabot,  it  is  evident 
that  these  two  rivers,  and  especially  the  Salado,  must  have  served  as 
important  routes  of  native  commerce.  Typical  Parana  cultures  had,  how- 
ever, penetrated  only  a  few  kilometers  up  the  Salado,  and  no  remains 
of  the  Parana  type  have  ever  been  discovered  on  the  Carcarafia.  In  the 
northern  part  of  the  Province  of  Santa  Fe,  the  rivers  that  run  parallel 
to  the  Parana  before  entering  it  duplicate  its  general  environmental 

The  Delta  embraces  approximately  200  kilometers  (125  miles)  of  the 
lower  course  of  the  Parana.  This  extremely  low  region  is  intersected 
by  a  great  number  of  streams,  and  it  is  subject  to  the  tides  of  the  Rio 
de  la  Plata,  which  inundate  it  periodically.  During  these  floods  only 
a  few  small,  unusually  high  areas  remain  above  the  waters.  On  such 
areas  are  found  the  remains  of  the  indigenous  peoples  of  the  region. 

The  shores  of  the  Parana  are  covered,  for  the  most  part,  with  monte 
(shrub  vegetation)  of  a  Mesopotamian  type.  The  abundance  of  the 
flora  varies  considerably  according  to  the  latitude  or  to  which  river 
bank  is  involved.  A  hydrophyllic  vegetation  thrives  in  the  insular  region 
of  the  Delta,  the  most  common  species  being  the  willow  {Salix  hum- 
holtiana),  the  ceiba  (Erythrina  crista-galli) ,  and  the  yatay  palm  (Cocos 
yatay),  the  last  a  conspicuous  tree  the  fruit  of  which  was  used  by  the 
Indians.  In  general,  the  insular  landscape  is  characterized  by  swamp 
and  aquatic  vegetation  of  extraordinary  exhuberance. 

The  rich  Parana  flora  afforded  the  Indian  refuge  and  materials  for 
shelter,  but  it  yielded  no  important  food  element.  The  fauna,  however, 
abundantly  satisfied  almost  all  the  needs  of  the  early  inhabitants. 


Plate  9. — Plastic  representations  from  the  Parana  River  country,  a-c,  Zoo- 
morphic  handles,  Malabrigo;  d,  human-head  handle,  vicinity  of  city  of  Parana; 
e-h,  silhouette  rim  attachments;  i,  j,  free  representations  of  birds,  (a  and  c, 
Approximately  yi  actual  size;  b  and  d,  approximately  %  actual  size;  e-h,  approxi- 
mately Ys  actual  size;  i  and.;,  approximately  }i  actual  size.)  (Courtes}'  Museo 
Etnografico  de  la  J^acultad  de  Filosofia  y  Letras,  Buenos  Aires.) 

Plate  10. — Parana  River  area  sherds,  a-e,  Incised  lines  with  notched  or  punc- 
tated interiors  ("drag-and-jab"  technique);  /,  g,  sherds  of  the  insular  delta 
complex.  (Courtesy  Museo  Etnogrdfico  de  la  Facultad  de  Filosofia  y  Letras, 
Buenos  Aires.) 



A  brief  analysis  of  the  archeology  of  the  Parana  demonstrates  three 
distinct  archeological  complexes:  two  in  the  region  of  the  Delta,  and 
a  third  which  is  found  along  both  shores  of  the  river  above  the  Delta. 
The  accounts  of  the  early  European  discoverers  of  this  country  indicate 
that  the  Indians  whom  they  encountered  belonged  to  different  tribes 
or  "nations."  In  interpreting  the  written  sources  by  comparing  them 
with  the  archeological  evidence,  it  becomes  clear  that  there  were  three 
outstanding  aboriginal  groups. 

The  first  of  these  were  the  Querandi,  who  lived  in  the  territory  of 
Sancti  Spiritu:  The  "people  of  the  country,"  as  Ramirez  called  them. 
Oviedo  y  Valdes  (1851-55)  says  that  they  were  inland  dwellers,  and 
Sebastian  Cabot  {in  Medina,  1908)  affirms  that  their  territory  extended  to 
the  foot  of  the  mountains.  They  occasionally  reached  the  coast,  and 
this  explains  why  their  name  was  given  to  the  creek  at  whose  mouth 
the  Portuguese  explorer  Lopes  de  Sousa  set  up  two  landmarks  bearing 
the  coat  of  arms  of  his  king.  Later,  Mendoza,  according  to  Ulrich 
Schmidel  (1903),  encountered  the  Querandi  in  the  region  where  the  Port 
of  Santa  Maria  de  Buen  Aire  was  situated.  These  Indians,  in  spite 
of  their  presence  on  the  coast,  cannot  be  considered  as  typical  inhabitants 
of  the  Parana  and  are  not  treated  in  this  paper.  Undoubtedly,  they  did 
not  form  a  tribe,  properly  speaking,  but  were  a  band  or  a  group  who, 
a  little  after  the  second  founding  of  Buenos  Aires,  are  no  longer  mentioned 
but  became  confused  with  the  other  Indians  of  the  plains  and  were  in- 
cluded under  the  general  name  of  "Pampas." 

The  second  important  group  were  the  Guarani,  who  inhabited  some 
of  the  islands  and  navigated  the  Parana,  "because  they  were  the  enemies 
of  all  the  other  nations,"  says  Ramirez.  The  Guarani  left  behind  ceme- 
teries with  urn  burials  and  other  types  of  characteristic  remains.  Finally, 
the  chroniclers  mention  a  series  of  people  who  lived  along  the  banks 
of  the  river :  Carcarai,  Ghana,  Begua,  Ghana-Timbu,  Timbu,  Mocoretai, 
Gamarao,  Mepene.  All  of  these  peoples  were,  evidently,  small  bands 
belonging  to  a  larger  group,  the  third  major  group  of  the  area.  The 
archeological  evidence  found  along  the  shores  of  the  Parana  verifies 
the  testimony  of  the  conquistadors  who,  although  they  gave  many 
names  to  these  people,  left  no  doubt  that  culturally  they  were  funda- 
mentally uniform.  To  these  people  can  be  assigned  the  dominant  archeo- 
logical complex  of  the  Parana,  characterized  by  the  ceramic  representa- 
tions and  accompanying  other  remains  (Aparicio,  192&-29). 

The  sites,  other  than  those  of  the  Guarani,  which  have  been  found  on 
the  "cerritos"  (small  elevations)  of  the  Delta  cannot  yet  be  assigned  to 
any  of  the  people  mentioned  in  the  early  literature.  All  that  is  known 
of  these  people  is  confined  to  the  archeological  materials  themselves. 
These  materials  differ  both  from  the  Parana  complex  of  the  ceramic 


60  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

plastic  representations  and  from  those  of  the  Guarani  sites.  It  is  very 
possible  that  when  the  remains  from  some  of  the  sites  of  the  right  margin 
of  the  Rio  de  la  Plata  are  better  known  that  these  will  prove  to  have 
a  close  relationship  with  those  from  the  Delta  "cerritos." 


The  excavation  of  the  "Tumulo  Prehistorico  de  Campana,"  made  around 
1877  by  Don  Estanislao  S.  Zeballos  and  Pedro  P.  Pico  (1878),  began 
archeological  research  along  the  Parana  and  was  also  the  first  systematic 
investigation  of  an  Argentine  archeological  site.  Several  years  later,  in 
1893-94,  Ambrosetti  found  fragments  of  decorated  pottery  in  Entre  Rios 
and  a  handsome  collection  of  plastic  representations  in  pottery  from  the 
site  of  Goya.  Further  field  work  was  not  attempted  along  the  Parana 
littoral  until  Frenguelli  and  the  present  author  discovered  important 
sites  on  the  Malabrigo  River.  Other  minor  discoveries  were  also  made 
by  Frenguelli,  by  the  author,  and  by  Antonio  Serrano. 

The  Delta  of  the  Parana  is  known  from  the  works  of  L.  M.  Torres 
(1913)  and  from  the  recent  excavations  of  the  North  American,  Samuel 
K.  Lothrop. 

The  bibliography  relative  to  Parana  archeology  includes  important 
works  of  other  authors — Ameghino,  Lafone  Quevedo,  Outes,  and  Torres. 
These  are,  however,  monographic  treatments  of  selected  themes  and  are 
based  upon  rapid  exploratory  trips,  occasional  discoveries,  or  library 
research.  The  present  brief  synthesis  is  based,  for  the  most  part,  upon 
the  personal  investigations  carried  out  in  the  lower  Parana  region  by 
the  author.     These  investigations  are  only  partly  published. 



Campana  and  Goya  are  the  classic  sites  of  the  Parana  littoral.  The 
first  was  studied  with  surprising  care  for  the  period  in  which  the  excava- 
tions were  made  (1877).  The  investigators  stated,  with  regard  to  the 
nature  of  the  mound: 

We  established  o  priori  that  this  monument  was  a  tumulus  similar  to  those  found 
in  the  different  territories  of  Europe  and  the  Americas.  Its  material  consists  of 
decayed  vegetal  substances  and  Quaternary  deposits.  Taking  the  form  of  an  ellipse, 
its  major  diameter  measures  79  varas  [approximately  220  feet,  or  70  m.]  ;  the  lesser 
diameter  was  32  varas  [approximately  90  ft.,  or  30  m.]  ;  and  its  greatest  height  was 
2J/2  varas  [approximately  7  ft.,  or  2.2  m.]  above  the  surrounding  ground.  [Zeballos 
and  Pico,  1878.] 

Zeballos  defined  the  mound,  on  the  basis  of  its  general  appearance, 
as  a  tumulus  comparable  to  the  earth  monuments  of  other  continents. 
At  about  the  same  time,  some  similar  sites  had  been  discovered  by  re- 


liable  amateurs  in  the  lowlands  of  southern  Entre  Rios.  The  coincidence 
of  these  discoveries  was  commented  upon  by  Ameghino,  shortly  after 
this,  leading  to  the  supposition  of  the  existence  of  a  culture  or  "a  people 
of  the  tumuli." 

At  Goya,  Ambrosetti  made  very  rapid  and  superficial  observations, 
and  his  descriptions  do  not  give  a  clear  idea  of  the  conditions  under 
which  he  discovered  the  material  which  he  describes.  However,  judging 
from  investigations  in  many  other  sites  along  the  Parana,  it  is  evident 
that  Ambrosetti  was  investigating  a  site  quite  typical  of  the  region.  These 
sites  are  always  found  on  the  banks  of  the  river  or  of  its  tributaries, 
and  are  situated  on  high  ground  above  the  zone  of  inundations.  The 
cultural  remains  are  always  found  at  a  very  slight  depth,  immediately 
below  the  humus.  They  consist  of  potsherds,  apparently  scattered  in- 
tentionally, hearths,  remains  of  food,  and  human  bones  coming  from 
secondary  inhumations.  The  writer  has  noted  sites  of  this  type  in  Cor- 
rientes,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  city  of  Parana,  near  Diamante  and  Victoria, 
in  Gaboto  and  other  places  along  the  right  bank  of  the  Coronda,  and 
in  various  localities  north  of  the  city  of  Santa  Fe.  A  site  of  the  same 
type,  but  located  on  low  ground  in  the  insular  region,  is  Las  Tejas,  ex- 
plored by  Antonio  Serrano,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Lake  of  Coronda. 

The  better-known  sites  of  the  Parana  are,  however,  those  of  the  right 
bank  of  the  Malabrigo  River.  They  are  located  upon  a  series  of  hills 
that  extend  a  short  distance  from  the  edge  of  the  river.  Frenguelli 
remarks  that,  taking  into  account  the  "characteristic  alignment  [of  these 
hills]  upon  the  edge  of  a  fluvial  valley,  and  the  nature  and  homogeneity 
of  the  materials  that  compose  them,"  they  must  be  interpreted  "as  ancient 
aeolian  accumulations  [sand  dunes]  more  or  less  affected  by  later  weather 
action,  that  shaped  them  in  the  form  of  hills,  which  are  likely  places, 
in  these  regions,  for  the  refuge  of  indigenous  populations"  (Frenguelli 
and  Aparicio,  1923).  In  all  of  the  mounds  explored,  artifacts  and  human 
skeletal  remains  have  been  found  at  only  a  very  slight  depth  in  the  sand. 


In  the  insular  region  and  the  bordering  lowlands  of  the  Delta,  a  country 
subjected  to  periodic  flooding  or  tidal  action  of  the  estuary  of  the  Rio 
de  la  Plata,  locations  of  aboriginal  dwellings  were  limited  to  only  a  few 
elevated  places,  which  are  referred  to  today  as  "cerritos,"  or  little  hills. 
In  them  are  found  cultural  refuse  and  human  burials.  Because  of  their 
appearance,  as  small  mounds  rising  above  the  surrounding  lowlands,  these 
"cerritos"  have  been  considered  by  some  authorities,  especially  Torres, 
as  true  tumuli  that  were  deliberately  constructed  by  man.  However, 
Lothrop,  who  has  explored  one  of  these  "mounds,"  believes  that  their 
artificial  elevation  is  the  inadvertent  accumulation  of  detritus  left  by 

62  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

human  occupation.    Outes,  who  explored  a  site  of  this  type  in  Mazaruca, 
also  tends  to  this  latter  view: 

Mazaruca,  as  with  the  great  majority  of  the  other  burial  places  in  more  or  less 
isolated  elevations,  is  a  relatively  consolidated  sand  dune.  Some  of  these  dunes  are 
covered  by  a  cap  of  humus,  deep  enough  to  be  considered  the  product  of  the  slow 
transformation  of  the  coarse  quartz  sand  which  forms  the  underlying  material  of 
the  dune,  and  to  which  has  been  added  continuously  detritus  carried  by  floods  and 
the  decomposed  organic  matter  from  the  rank  vegetation  that  covers  the  surface 
ot  the  marsh.    [Outes,  1912.] 

The  author  has  had  occasion  to  investigate  a  similar  site  in  "La  Argen- 
tina," in  the  region  of  Mazaruca,  and  concurs  with  Outes  ( Aparicio,  1928) . 
It  is  unfortunate  that  a  comprehensive  study  of  the  geological  nature  of 
the  "cerritos"  has  not  yet  been  made. 



Plastic  representations. — The  sites  along  the  shores  of  the  Parana 
are  characterized  by  modeled  pottery  figures  or  plastic  representations, 
with  which  are  associated  quantities  of  potsherds,  plain,  incised,  and, 
in  a  few  cases,  painted.  By  and  large,  however,  the  materials,  which 
are  almost  exclusively  ceramics,  are  of  rather  poor  quality  and  of 
monotonous  uniformity. 

All  of  the  plastic  representations  are  hand-made,  and  knowledge  of 
molds  was  lacking.  All  of  the  figures  conform  to  a  definite  art  style 
which  distinguishes  them  from  comparable  pottery  representations  found 
in  other  American  areas.^  The  native  artists  of  the  Parana  interpreted 
the  regional  fauna  with  surprising  talent  and  sensibility.  They  were 
sometimes  able  to  reproduce  nature  with  a  masterly  realism;  in  other 
instances,  they  modified  the  form  until  they  achieved  stylizations  of  a 
disconcerting  audacity.  Both  types  of  depiction  are  usually  complemented 
by  incised  decoration  which  is  purely  geometric  and  in  no  sense  zoomor- 
phic  characterizations. 

The  plastic  representations,  in  some  cases,  were  adornos  on  pottery 
vessels,  serving  either  as  handles  or  simply  as  added  ornaments.  The 
figure  handles  are  bulky  and  are  attached  to  the  vessel  walls ;  the  purely 
decorative  adornos  are  silhouette  forms  which  appear  to  have  been  added 
to  the  rims  as  an  extention  of  the  vessel  wall.  In  both  cases,  the  figures 
have  the  same  paste,  firing,  finish,  etc.,  as  the  vessels  of  which  they  form 
a  part. 

^  Attention  has  often  been  called  to  the  analogies  existing  between  the  plastic  representations  of 
the  Parand  and  of  the  Amazon  and  other  regions  of  the  continent.  Nordenskiold  in  studying  this 
problem  contrasted  a  series  of  schematic  drawings.  As  in  such  schemes,  the  sculptures  have  lost 
all  stylistic  quality,  and  the  resemblances  of  one  with  the  other  are  therefore  surprising.  However, 
anyone  who  has  seen  an  appreciable  quantity  of  plastic  representations  of  the  Parand  and  of  the 
Amazon,  and  who  has  some  artistic  sensibility,  would  not  hesitate  to  declare  the  analogy  to  be  of 
theme  and  not  of  style. 


The  function  of  the  separate  or  free  figures  can  only  be  conjectured. 
They  differ  from  the  attached  figures  in  being  larger  and  usually  solid 
rather  than  hollow,  as  is  the  case  with  the  latter. 

At  the  sites  of  Malabrigo,  Resistencia,  Campana,  and  Goya,  the  figures 
are  almost  exclusively  of  the  attached  type.  In  sites  of  the  river  country 
of  Santa  Fe,  between  San  Jose  del  Rincon  and  Gaboto,  and  in  those 
along  the  banks  of  the  Parana  between  the  city  of  Parana  and  the  Delta 
(such  as  Las  Tejas),  the  free  figures  have  been  found  in  greater 
abundance.  As  there  is  a  fairly  adequate  bibliography  upon  this  subject, 
only  a  few  typical  examples  of  the  plastic  representations  will  be  illustrated 
and  discussed  here.  Plate  9,  a,  a  handle  figure  from  Malabrigo,  is  a 
magnificent  example  of  interpretative  realism.  Although  executed  in 
a  slovenly  manner  and  free  of  all  technical  preoccupation,  it  unites  sur- 
prising elements  of  expression  and  life.  The  beak  is  exaggerated  in  its 
dimensions  but  faithfully  portrayed ;  the  fierce  expression  of  the  eye  and 
the  tufted  crest  give  the  head  a  singular  dynamism  and  exceptional  vitality. 
The  decorations  of  the  piece  have  been  executed  with  a  marked  lack  of 
prolixity.  They  consist  simply  of  a  series  of  parallel  rows  of  punctations 
that  run  perpendicular  to  the  tufted  crest  and  cover  both  sides  of  the 
face.  Below,  and  at  the  sides  of  the  beak,  this  simple  ornamental  feature 
is  repeated  in  smaller  size.  Another  handle  representation  from  Mal- 
abrigo (pi.  9,  h)  is  a  good  example  of  extreme  stylization.  Although 
this  head  has  the  same  general  characteristics  as  the  last,  the  artist's 
intent  was  obviously  different.  His  interest  was  not  in  achieving  sincere 
realism,  but  in  producing  a  graceful  and  elegant  formalism,  which  he 
accomplished  with  admirable  simplicity  by  portraying  a  beak  of  dispro- 
portionate size  and  a  long  undulant  crest  which  extends  down  the  back 
of  the  head.  The  crest  plays  an  important  decorative  role,  complementing 
two  grooved  projections  at  the  sides  of  the  head.  Ornamentation  is 
limited  to  some  parallel  zigzag  lines.  This  particular  specimen  is  almost 
completely  covered  with  red  ocher. 

The  great  parrots  were  the  preferred  subjects  of  the  native  sculptors 
of  the  Parana  littoral,  and  representations  of  them  constitute  an  over- 
whelming majority  of  known  specimens.  Other  birds  and  animals  were 
also  portrayed.  Plate  9,  c,  another  handle  specimen  from  Malabrigo, 
is  a  beautiful  example  of  an  owl.  The  artist  has  retained  only  features 
necessary  to  the  characterization:  Eyes,  "horns,"  and  beak.  He  has 
represented  them  with  great  ease  and  assurance. 

The  artists  made  human  representations  much  less  often  than  animals, 
and  with  less  success.  An  example  of  accentuated  human  realism  is  the 
little  head  (pi.  9,  d)  from  the  vicinity  of  the  city  of  Parana. 

No  intact  vessel  has  yet  been  discovered  with  two  figure  handles  attached, 
but  the  great  number  of  rim  sherds  with  such  attachments  leaves  little 

64  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

doubt  that  such  handles  were  used  on  vessels,  e.  g.,  figure  4,  a  nearly 
complete  specimen  from  Las  Tejas,  Santa  Fe.  The  handles  on  this  piece 
are  of  an  exceptional  type,  as  the  zoomorphic  figure  has  been  depicted 
as  an  entire  body  rather  than  by  the  usual  practice  of  simply  showing 
it  as  a  head  (Aparicio,  1925). 

Figure  4. — Parana  River  vessel  v;rith  zoomorphic  handles.    (Courtesy  Museo  Etno- 
gralico  de  la  Facultad  de  Filosofia  y  Letras,  Buenos  Aires.) 

The  silhouette  rim  attachments  which  the  author  first  discovered  and 
published  some  years  ago,  are  definitely  in  the  artistic  style  of  the  Parana 
plastic  representations  (pi.  9,  e-h).    The  silhouettes  have  been  made  by 

cutting  out  the  outline  of  the  animal  which  is  being  represented  from  a  flat  piece  of 
clay.  The  surfaces  of  the  figures  are  then  treated  somewhat  in  the  manner  of  relief 
sculpture,  in  some  cases  to  augment  the  characterization  intended,  and  in  others 
simply  to  decorate  the  figures.    [Aparicio,  1923.] 

Various  examples  of  separate  or  free  representations,  either  complete 
or  fragmentary,  have  been  examined  by  the  author.  Plate  9,  i,  can  be 
considered  typical.  Artistically,  it  is  contemptible.  The  heavy  modeled 
parrot  is  scarcely  recognizable.  The  head  reproduced  in  plate  9,  /,  though 
of  unusual  beauty,  is  no  doubt  a  similar  piece.  Although  the  subject 
has  been  drastically  conventionalized,  the  essential  characteristics — beak, 
crest,  and  throat — enable  one  to  recognize  it  immediately  as  a  royal  condor. 
The  head  is  covered  with  incised  decoration,  which,  as  usual,  is  discon- 
nected and  seems  to  lack  design  plan. 

Pottery. — Plastic  representations  are  always  found  in  association  with 
plain,  incised,  and  painted  potsherds.  Some  instances  of  combined  paint- 
ing and  incision  have  also  been  noted.  Various  ornamental  combinations 
have  been  made  with  incised  lines,  but  these  have  not  yet  been  system- 
atically analyzed.  These  decorative  combinations  show  some  similarity 
to  comparable  pottery  decorations  from  other  primitive  cultures.  How- 
ever, the  exact  nature  of  these  incised  decorations,  and  the  manner  in 


which  they  have  been  executed,  is  characteristic  of  the  Parana  littoral. 
Incision  was  made  in  the  soft  paste  by  a  small  pointed  instrument  which 
effected  a  series  of  successive  impressions,  or  a  groove  with  a  notched 
interior.  These  notched  grooved  lines  ("drag-and-jab")  vary  consider- 
ably, depending  upon  the  size  and  shape  of  the  instrument  used.  Plate 
10,  a-e,  shows  a  random  selection  of  such  sherds.  At  a  glance  one  can 
see  the  identity  of  the  pottery  decorations  with  those  found  on  the  plastic 

In  addition,  pottery  decorated  with  incised  lines  and  separate  puncta- 
tions  is  not  lacking.  Pottery  may  also  have  the  most  elementary  sort  of 
decorative  treatment:  fingernail  impressions  and  finger-and-fingernail 
impressions  in  various  combinations.  These  latter  types  are,  nevertheless, 
in  the  minority,  and  they  cannot  be  considered  as  typical  manifestations  of 
the  culture.     (See  concluding  section  of  Guarani  influences.) 

The  people  of  the  Parana  littoral  apparently  had  the  custom  of  inten- 
tionally destroying  their  pottery  and  other  ceramic  artifacts.  Because  of 
this,  very  few  complete  specimens  are  now  extant.  The  sherds,  however, 
reveal  that  there  were  various  vessel  forms,  some  small  and  carefully 
made,  others  large,  coarse,  and  without  decoration.  There  is  only  one 
good  example  of  a  vessel  of  the  finer  ware;  but  there  are,  perhaps,  a 
dozen  of  the  large  coarse  vessels.  These  latter  are  usually  subglobular  in 
shape.  All  complete  vessels  have  been  brought  together  in  a  special 
monograph  (Iribarne,  1937). 

Miscellaneous  ceramic  objects. — Exceptionally,  in  some  sites,  pipes, 
pendants,  and  spindle  whorls  have  been  found. 

Nonceramic  objects. — Artifacts  of  stone  or  bone  are  extremely  scarce. 
In  Malabrigo,  the  stone  industry  can  be  considered  nonexistent ;  in  Goya, 
four  worked  stone  artifacts  and  several  bolas  were  found;  in  Campana, 
Zeballos  and  Pico  mention  the  finding  of  1 50  pieces  of  worked  and  polished 
stone.  Unfortunately,  this  last  material  was  lost  and  there  is  no  descrip- 
tion available.  However,  the  exceptional  lithic  representation  at  Campana 
can  be  satisfactorily  explained  if  it  is  realized  that  the  site  lies  on  the 
periphery  of  the  Parana  littoral  culture.  This  stone  artifact  complex  was 
probably  the  result  of  contact  with  neighboring  peoples. 

Bone  artifacts  are  similar  to  stone  artifacts  in  their  occurrence.  Their 
presence  at  Campana,  again,  must  be  explained  by  the  geographical  loca- 
tion of  the  site. 


The  Delta  culture  of  the  "cerritos." — Although  the  general  aspect  of 
the  Delta  sites  is  more  or  less  uniform,  the  contents  of  these  sites  is 
variable.  Some  sites  contain  urn  burials  accompanied  by  a  very  charac- 
teristic artifact  complex.  Other  sites  have  direct  inhumations  accompanied 
by  unspecialized  ceramics  and  bone  artifacts.     The  latter  correspond  to 

66  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

sites  already  mentioned,  with  the  exception  of  Arroyo  Malo  explored  by 
Lothrop  (1932). 

The  sites  with  the  direct  inhumations  and  the  nondistinctive  archeo- 
logical  content,  represent  the  insular  culture  of  the  "cerritos,"  presumably 
the  remains  of  the  ancient  occupants  of  the  Delta.  In  addition  to  being 
little  specialized,  and  lacking  in  definitive  characteristics,  the  pottery  and 
artifacts  from  the  "cerritos"  are  very  scarce.  Skeletal  remains,  on  the 
other  hand,  are  quite  abundant.  The  potsherds  that  have  been  found 
show  very  simple  line  and  punctate  combinations.  They  differ,  signifi- 
cantly, from  those  attributed  to  the  peoples  of  the  Guaycuru  family,  and, 
even  more  strikingly,  from  the  well-known  Guarani  ceramics.  In  plate 
10,  /,  g,  are  shown  sherds  from  the  sites  of  the  insular  Delta  complex. 
(Cf.  with  pi.  10,  a-e.) 

A  stone  industry  is  very  poorly  represented  in  these  Delta  sites.  Those 
artifacts  found  probably  were  trade  pieces  received  from  neighboring 
peoples.  Artifacts  of  bone  and  horn,  such  as  awls,  punches,  and  points, 
although  not  highly  specialized  or  differentiated,  are  the  most  typical. 

Guarani  influences. — Various  sites  of  the  Delta  are  characterized  by 
great  funerary  urns.  Despite  the  fact  that  investigations  at  only  one  such 
site  have  been  fully  published  (Lothrop,  1932,  Arroyo  Malo),  the  artifact 
complex  associated  with  this  culture  of  the  urn  burials  is  well  known  and 
is  attributed  to  the  Guarani  peoples.  The  distribution  of  Guarani  finds 
is  very  extensive,  allowing  comparisons  with  similar  discoveries  made  in 
relatively  remote  regions,  such  as  the  upper  Parana  and  the  upper  Para- 
guay Rivers.  In  addition,  they  are  also  found  throughout  the  entire 
geographical  area  to  which  we  have  been  referring  in  this  paper.  Some- 
times these  Gwarawf-type  finds  are  found  by  themselves ;  in  other  instances 
they  are  found  as  intrusions  into  archeological  strata  of  other  cultures. 

The  Guarani  funerary  urns  have  peculiar  forms.  The  surfaces  are 
plain  or  fingernail  marked,  or,  more  rarely,  they  are  completely  or  par- 
tially painted  with  polychrome  decorations  (fig.  5;  pis.  11,  12).  Frag- 
ments of  pottery  are  also  found  in  association  with  the  burial  urns.  These 
suggest  vessels  of  different  forms  and  uses  which  have  been  decorated  in 
a  similar  manner  to  the  funerary  vessels. 

There  are  also  typical  stone  artifacts  in  association  with  the  above 
pottery.    These  are  polished  axes  and  lip  plugs  of  various  forms. 


Ambrosetti,  1893,  1894 ;  Ameghino,  1880-81 ;  Aparicio,  1923,  1925,  1928,  1928-1929 ; 
Cabot  {in  Medina,  1908);  Frenguelli  and  Aparicio,  1923;  Iribarne,  1937;  Lafone- 
Quevedo,  1909;  Lothrop,  1932;  Outes,  1912;  Oviedo  y  Valdes,  1851-55;  Schmidel, 
1903 ;  Torres,  L.  M.,  1913 ;  Zeballos  and  Pico,  1878. 



Figure  S.—Guarani  pottery  from  the  Parana  Delta.  Top:  Painted,  fingernail-marked, 
and  plain  wares.  Bottom:  Painted  urn  (height,  18  inches  (44.5  cm.)).  (Courtesy 
Museo  Etnografico  de  la  FacuUad  de  Filosofia  y  Letras,  Buenos  Aires;  and  after 
Lothrop,  1932,  pi.  10.) 

6S3333— 47— 8 


By  Alfred  Metraux 


The  area  inhabited  by  the  Guarani  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  see  Volume  1, 
map  7)  has  shrunk  considerably  since  the  16th  century.  Today  the 
Guarani  who  have  preserved  their  cultural  identity  form  isolated  islands 
in  Paraguay  and  southern  Brazil.  The  subtribes  mentioned  by  Spanish 
conquistadors  and  missionaries  have  disappeared,  and  the  names  which 
designate  modern  Guarani  groups  are  fairly  recent  and  appear  in  the 
literature  only  in  the  18th  century.  Therefore,  it  is  necessary  to  deal 
with  ancient  and  modern  Guarani  as  if  they  were  separate  entities.  The 
Guarani  language,  however,  is  still  spoken  by  Mestizos,  or  acculturated 
Indians,  in  most  of  the  territory  where  it  was  used  at  the  time  of  the 
Conquest.  The  rural  population  of  Paraguay  is  often  called  Guarani. 
Therefore,  in  order  to  avoid  confusion  between  these  modern  civilized 
Guarani  and  their  primitive  contemporaries,  we  shall  always  refer  to 
the  latter  as  Caingud. 

Guarani  of  the  16th  and  17th  centuries. — The  Guarani  were  first 
known  as  Carijo  or  Carlo,  but  the  name  Guarani  finally  prevailed  in  the 
17th  century.  At  this  time,  the  Guarani  were  the  masters  of  the  Atlantic 
Coast  from  Barra  de  Cananea  to  Rio  Grande  do  Sul,  (lat.  26°-33°  S., 
long.  48°-52°  W.)  and  from  there  their  groups  extended  to  the  Parana, 
Uruguay,  and  Paraguay  Rivers. 

Guarani  groups,  called  by  the  early  chroniclers  "Guarani  de  las  islas," 
Chandris,  or  Chandules,  lived  in  the  16th  century  on  the  islands  of  the 
Rio  de  la  Plata,  and  on  the  southern  side  of  the  Parana  Delta  from  San 
Isidro  to  the  vicinity  of  the  Carcarana  River  (lat.  34°  S.,  long.  58°  W.) 
There  were  some  Guarani  enclaves  along  the  Uruguayan  shore,  at  Martin 
Chico,  and  from  San  Lazaro  to  San  Salvador.  Pottery  vessels  of  un- 
mistakable Guarani  origin  have  been  found  near  San  Francisco  Soriano 
and  Concordia  in  Uruguay,  on  the  island  of  Martin  Garcia  and  at  Arroyo 
Malo,  between  the  Lujan  River  and  the  Parana  de  las  Palmas  River. 

On  the  eastern  side  of  the  Uruguay  River,  the  borderline  between  the 
Charrua  and  the  bulk  of  the  Guarani  nation  ran  near  Yapeyu.     On  the 


70  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

western  side,  the  Guarani  occupied  all  the  land  from  Yapeyii  to  the 
Parana  River  (Serrano,  1936,  p.  121).  From  the  junction  of  the 
Parana  and  Paraguay  Rivers,  Guarani  villages  were  distributed  con- 
tinuously up  the  eastern  side  of  the  Paraguay  River  and  up  both  sides 
of  the  Parana  River.  They  reached  north  to  the  Mbotetey  (Miranda) 
River  (lat.  20°  S.,),  and  east  probably  to  the  Serras  de  Amambay  and 
Maracayu.  The  Guarani  were  especially  numerous  in  the  Parana  Basin 
and  in  the  Province  of  Guaira.  There  were  also  countless  settlements 
along  the  tributaries  of  the  Parana  River,  the  boundary  between  the 
Tupinakin  and  Guarani  being  approximately  the  Tiete  River.  The 
Guarani  extended  south  to  the  Province  of  Tape  (today,  Serra  Geral). 

Although  Guarani  was  the  generic  name  of  this  widespread  people, 
the  Spaniards  in  the  16th  and  17th  centuries  distinguished  local  tribes 
by  special  names.  Around  Lagoa  dos  Patos,  the  Guarani  were  called 
Arechane  (lat.  32°  S.,  long.  51°  W.)  ;  from  the  Apa  River  to  the  Mbotetey 
(Miranda)  River,  Itatin  (lat.  22°  S.,  long.  57°  W.)  ;  in  the  Serra  Geral 
and  Rio  Grande  do  Sul,  Tape  (lat.  30°  S.,  long.  52°  W.)  ;  around  San 
Estanislao  and  San  Joaquin,  Tobatin;  on  the  Ypane  River,  Guarambare 
(lat.  23°  S.,  long.  56°  W.) ;  and  on  the  Ivahy  (Ivahyete)  River,  Taioba. 
Tribes  with  a  different  language  and  culture,  such  as  the  Caingang,  or 
with  a  diflferent  culture,  such  as  the  Guayaki,  were  scattered  among  the 

In  the  second  half  of  the  17th  century,  the  Northern  Guarani  or  Itatin, 
were  driven  south  by  the  Mbayd-Guaicuru,  a  Chaco  tribe. 

Modern  Guarani  tribes. — Since  the  18th  century,  the  Guarani  groups 
who  had  remained  independent  and  had  not  been  collected  in  missions 
have  been  distinguished  from  the  Christianized  Guarani  by  the  name 
Caingud  {Kaa-thwua,  Kaingua,  Cayua,  Monteses),  which  means  "In- 
habitants of  the  Forest." 

About  1800,  the  Caingud  {Caagua)  inhabited  the  headwaters  of  the 
Iguatemi  River,  extending  north  toward  the  upper  Miranda  River  to 
Cerro  Pyta  in  the  Cordillera  de  San  Jose  near  the  headwaters  of  the 
Ypane  River.  They  also  lived  near  the  Jejui-guazii  (Jejui)  and  the 
Aguaray-guazii  Rivers  and  in  the  vicinity  of  the  cities  of  Curuguaty, 
San  Joaquin,  and  San  Estanislao  (Azara,  1904,  p.  407). 

The  Caingud  proper  lived  on  the  Ypane  River,  the  Carima  in  the  Serra 
Maracayu  (lat.  23°  S.,  long.  54°  W.),  and  the  Taruma  east  of  the  Yhu 
River  (lat.  24°  S.,  long.  56°  W.). 

The  Indians  who  at  the  end  of  the  18th  century  lived  on  the  right 
side  of  the  Parana  River  between  the  Guarapay  and  Monday  Rivers 
and  on  the  left  side  of  the  Parana  River  from  Corpus  to  the  Iguassu 
River,  were  known  as  Guayana  (lat.  26°  S.,  long.  56°  W.).  A  group  of 
these  Guayana  still  exists  at  Villa  Azara  on  the  stream  Pira-pyta.  These 
Guarani-s^eakmg   Guayand  should  not  be  confused   with   the  ancient 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  71 

Guayand  of  Sao  Paulo  and  Parana,  who  were  Caingang  Indians  (Azara, 
1904,  p.  406). 
Modern  Caingud  (Caaigud)  are  divided  into  three  groups: 

(1)  The  Mbyd  (Mbwiha,  Ava-mbihd,  Caaygud,  Apytere,  Baticola), 
who  occupy  the  forested  spurs  of  the  Serra  de  Maracayu  (lat.  25° -27° 
S.,  long.  55°  W.)  and  the  region  around  Corpus  in  the  Argentine  terri- 
tory of  Misiones.  Groups  of  Mbyd  (or  Caingud)  are  even  more  widely 
scattered  in  Mato  Grosso  and  in  the  States  of  Parana  and  Rio  Grande 
do  Sul. 

(2)  The  Chiripd,  who  live  south  of  the  Jejua-guazu  River  and  are 
also  reported  on  the  right  and  left  sides  of  the  upper  Parana  River,  along 
the  Yuytorocai  River  and  north  of  the  Iguassu  River  (lat.  25°  S.,  long. 
54°-56°  W.). 

(3)  The  Pan'  (Terenohe),  who  live  north  of  the  Jejui-guazii  River. 
Of  these  three  groups,  the  Mbyd  have  remained  the  closest  to  their 

ancient  Guarani  culture;  the  Chiripd  are  the  most  acculturated. 

There  are  also  several  groups  of  Caingud  or  Guarani  in  Brazil.  The 
Apapocuva  (lat.  24°  S.,  long.  54°  W.)  regard  themselves  as  distinct  from 
the  Paraguayan  Caingud  although  they  are  closely  related  to  them.  Before 
they  started  in  1870  trekking  east  in  search  of  the  Land-Without-Evil 
(see  below,  p.  93),  they  lived  on  the  lower  Iguatemi  River,  in  the 
southern  tip  of  the  State  of  Mato  Grosso.  In  1912,  200  still  lived  on 
the  Iguatemi  River ;  about  200  in  the  reservation  of  Arariba,  in  the  State 
of  Sao  Paulo ;  100  on  the  Rio  das  Cinzas,  in  the  State  of  Parana ;  about 
70  in  Potrero  Guazu,  in  Mato  Grosso;  and  about  40  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Ivahi  River.  The  Tanygud,  who  also  made  this  trek,  resided  on 
the  Parana  River  near  the  Iguatemi  River  (lat.  23°  S.,  long.  54°  W.). 
After  a  long  migration  which  took  them  to  the  Atlantic  Coast,  they  became 
established  on  the  Rio  de  Peixe  and  the  Itariry  River,  where  a  few  of 
them  still  remained  in  1912. 

The  ancient  habitat  of  the  Oguauiva,  from  which  they  migrated  toward 
the  Ocean  in  1830,  was  situated  near  the  Serra  de  Maracayu  (lat.  24° 
S.,  long  54°  W.).  In  1912,  100  Oguauiva  lived  in  the  reservation  of 
Arariba,  and  40  near  the  coast. 

The  other  Caingud  groups  who,  according  to  Nimuendajii  (1914  a, 
p.  293),  lived  in  southern  Brazil  about  1912  were:  The  Cheiru/  near 
the  mouth  of  the  Iguatemi ;  the  Avahuguai,  on  the  Dourados ;  the  Paiguagu, 
on  the  Curupayna  River  (Mato  Grosso)  ;  the  Yvytyigud,  opposite  the 
Serra  do  Diabo,  in  the  State  of  Parana ;  the  Avachiripd,  on  the  left  side 
of  the  Parana  (State  of  Parana)  ;  the  Catanduva  Jatahy,  in  the  same  State. 

The  Apapocuva,  Tanygud,  Oguauiva,  and  Cheiru  are  regarded  as 
Guarani  whereas  the  Avahuguai,  Paiguagu,  Yvytyigud,  Avachiripd,  and 

'  There  are  also  Cheiru  in  Paraguay  near  the  Guaira  Falls. 

72  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Catanduvd  are  designated  in  Brazil  under  the  generic  term  of  Caiud 

The  Ivapare  {Are,  Shetd),  erroneously  called  Botocudo  or  Notoboto- 
ciido  because  of  their  wooden  labrets,  are  a  Gwamm'-speaking  group  living 
on  the  Ivahy  River,  near  the  Ranharanha  (Ariranha)  Cachoeira  (lat.  24° 
S.,  long.  53°  W.).  These  Indians  have  abandoned  farming,  and  roam  in 
the  forests  like  the  Guayaki  (Borba,  1904,  Loukotka,  1929). 

At  present  most  of  the  Caingud  groups  are  in  constant  contact  with  the 
Mestizos  and  Whites,  and  many  Caingud  work  as  peons  in  the  estancias, 
in  the  mate  or  lumber  camps.  With  the  earned  money  they  buy  clothes, 
tools,  food,  pots,  sugar,  and  salt.  Consequently,  they  have  abandoned 
weaving  and  even  their  native  ware.  On  the  other  hand,  they  still  culti- 
vate the  same  plants  as  their  ancestors. 

Population. — Nimuendaju  (1914  a,  p.  293)  estimated  in  1912  the  total 
number  of  the  Brazilian  Caingud  at  about  3,000. 

Sources. — Information  on  the  ancient  Guarani  is  scanty  and  fragmen- 
tary, but  can  be  supplemented  by  our  better  knowledge  of  their  descend- 
ants, the  numerous  Caingud  tribes  of  Paraguay  and  southern  Brazil. 
Moreover,  from  all  available  evidence,  ancient  Guarani  culture  appears  to 
be  basically  like  that  of  their  neighbors  and  kinsmen,  the  coastal  Tupi. 

Most  of  the  data  on  the  ancient  Guarani  used  in  this  chapter  come  from 
the  "Comentarios  de  Alvar  Nunez  Cabeza  de  Vaca"  (see  Pedro  Her- 
nandez, 1852),  Schmidel  (1903),  Ruiz  de  Montoya's  (1892)  "Conquista 
espiritual,"  and  the  "Cartas  anuas  de  la  Compania  de  Jesus"  (1927-29). 
Del  Techo  (1673,  1897)  and  Lozano  (1873-75),  who  often  have  been 
regarded  among  our  best  authorities  on  the  Guarani,  obtained  most  of 
their  data  from  Jesuit  reports  (Cartas  anuas). 

The  earUest  description  of  the  Caingud  appears  in  Dobrizhoffer  (1874). 
Azara's  (1809,  1904)  often-quoted  passages  on  the  Guarani  should  be 
used  with  caution.  Rengger  (1835)  in  the  beginning  of  the  19th  century 
and  Vogt  (1904),  Ambrosetti  (1895  b),  and  Vellard  (1939  a)  in  recent 
times  have  contributed  good  information  on  the  material  culture  of  the 
Paraguayan  Caingud.  On  the  Cayud  of  Southern  Brazil,  we  have  a 
monograph  by  Von  Koenigswald  (1908).  The  outstanding  sources  on 
the  modern  Guarani,  or  Caingud,  are  a  monograph  by  Nimuendaju  (1914 
a)  on  the  religion  and  mythology  of  the  Apapocuva-Guarani,  and  a  series 
of  studies  by  Father  Franz  Miiller  (1934-35)  on  the  Paraguayan  Caingud. 

Pablo  Hernandez's  (1913)  monumental  work  is  the  most  complete 
modern  source  on  the  history  and  organization  of  the  Jesuit  missions. 
Cardiel's  (1900)  "Declaracion  de  la  verdad"  and  Muratori's  (1754) 
"Nouvelles  des  missions  du  Paraguay"  are  excellent  18th-century  treatises 
on  life  in  the  missions. 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  73 


Many  archeological  finds  have  been  made  in  the  area  formerly  inhabited 
by  the  Guarani,  but  only  a  few  systematic  investigations  have  ever  been 
undertaken  of  ancient  sites  or  cemeteries.  The  attribution  of  some  of  the 
remains  unearthed  in  former  Guarani  territory  is  often  uncertain  because 
the  Guarani  seem  to  have  been  late  comers  in  the  regions  where  we  find 
them  in  the  16th  century.  They  were  preceded  by  people  of  different 
prehistoric  cultures,  some  of  which,  such  as  the  Caingang,  have  survived 
up  to  the  present.  The  main  problems  center  around  classification  of 
stone  implements,  which  cannot  always  be  easily  distinguished  from  those 
produced  by  the  early  non-Guarani  population.  Pottery,  however,  leaves 
little  or  no  margin  for  doubt.  The  aboriginal  occupants  of  Paraguay  or 
southern  Brazil  had  either  no  ceramics  or  else  only  a  very  crude  ware. 
Guarani  ware  presents  the  following  features:  A  corrugated  decoration 
produced  by  thumb  impressions  on  the  soft  clay,  linear  designs  in  red 
and  black  on  a  whitish  background,  and  the  use  of  large  conical  chicha 
jars  as  funeral  urns  (pis.  11,  12). 

There  is  a  striking  resemblance  between  the  pottery  of  the  ancient 
Tupinamha  of  the  coast  (Netto,  1885;  Ihering,  1904)  and  that  of  the 
Guarani  of  Paraguay.  The  modern  Chiriguano,  descendants  of  Guarani 
invaders  from  Paraguay,  still  make  chicha  jars  almost  identical  in  shape 
and  decoration  to  those  which  are  so  often  unearthed  in  their  home  country. 
Moreover,  typical  Guarani  vases  have  been  found  associated  with  rosin 
labrets,  a  lip  ornament  still  worn  by  modern  Caingud. 

Direct,  or  primary,  urn  burial  was  the  usual  form  of  interment  among 
the  Guarani  and  persists  among  the  Chiriguano  of  Bolivia.  Archeology 
has  amply  confirmed  the  statements  of  early  writers.  The  corpse  was 
forced  with  the  limbs  flexed  into  a  jar  and  covered  with  another  vessel. 

Ihering  (1895,  1904),  Mayntzhusen  (1912),  Ullrich  (1906),  Kunert 
(1890,  1891,  1892),  Kunike  (1911),  Meyer  (1896),  Ambrosetti  (1895  b), 
Vellard  (1934),  and  Linne  (1936)  have  described  isolated  finds.  Max 
Schmidt  (1932)  has  given  a  list  of  recent  discoveries  and  has  attempted 
to  make  a  classification  of  the  rich  archeological  material  in  the  Museum 
of  Asuncion.  Pottery  of  unmistakable  Guarani  origin  has  been  collected 
on  the  islands  of  the  Parana  Delta  (pi.  11,  fop,  center).  They  have  been 
pubhshed  and  discussed  by  L.  M.  Torres  (1913)  and  Outes  (1917,  1918). 
Lothrop  (1932,  pp.  122-146)  has  given  us  a  careful  description  of  the 
results  of  his  investigation  in  a  Guarani  cemetery  at  Arroyo  Malo,  a  small 
tributary  of  the  Lujan  River,  east  of  El  Tigre,  in  the  Province  of  Buenos 
Aires.  Serrano  (1936)  has  dealt  with  Guarani  archeology  in  connection 
with  his  study  of  the  ancient  native  cultures  of  Uruguay. 

The  ware  found  in  areas  historically  occupied  by  Guarani  tribes  con- 
sists mainly  of  funeral  urns,  large  plates  or  vessels  used  as  lids  for  these 
urns,  and  some  pots  which  formed  part  of  the  funerary  equipment. 

74  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Funeral  urns,  which  originally  were  chicha  jars,  are  of  two  main  types : 

(1)  those  decorated  on  the  upper  part  with  rows  of  corrugated  impres- 
sions or  markings  produced  either  with  the  fingers  or  with  a  stick,  and 

(2)  painted  ones. 

The  urns  of  the  first  category  usually  have  a  conical  shape  with  a 
bulging  upper  part  and  a  low  outflaring  or  direct  rim  (pi.  11,  bottom, 
lejt).  Those  of  the  second  type  are  usually  biconical  with  a  flat  or 
rounded  bottom  and  a  direct  rim  which  often  presents  a  median  ridge 
(pi.  12,  a).  The  height  of  the  urns  normally  varies  between  40  to  70  cm. 
(16  to  28  in.)  and  their  diameter  between  46  to  76  cm.  (19  to  50  in.). 
A  few  specimens  are  one  meter  (3  ft.)  high. 

Smaller  vessels  are  (1)  undecorated,  (2)  covered  on  their  entire  outer 
surface  by  fingernail  marks  (pi.  11),  (3)  painted  (pi.  12),  and  (4) 
painted  on  the  inside  and  decorated  with  fingernail  marks  or  corrugated 
impressions  on  the  outside. 

Several  nail-incised  vessels  were  found  by  Ambrosetti  (1895  b)  on 
the  Alto  Parana  and  by  Lothrop  (1932,  pp.  134-135)  at  Arroyo  Malo, 
near  Buenos  Aires,  and  at  Parana-Guazii. 

Most  of  the  specimens  of  small  ware  known  up  to  the  present  are 
shallow  bowls,  or  bowls  with  inverted  rims.  Some  painted  specimens 
have  a  characteristic  biconical  shape  with  a  flat  bottom.  A  few  globular 
pots  with  outflaring  rims  seem  to  have  been  used  in  cooking.  A  single 
specimen  with  a  tubular  neck  has  been  published  by  Vellard  (1934,  fig. 

Some  of  the  funeral  urns  and  wide  bowls  found  by  Lothrop  at  Arroyo 
Malo  are  covered  with  a  grayish  slip  and  are  adorned  with  red  paint  on 
the  exterior. 

The  decoration  of  the  polychrome  urns  and  bowls  consists  generally  of 
red  lines  on  a  whitish  background,  but  sometimes  white  patterns  have 
been  traced  on  a  red  background.  Often  the  red  designs  are  underscored 
by  black  strokes  or  bordered  by  incisions.  On  a  few  specimens  coarse 
red  patterns  have  been  applied  directly  on  the  surface  of  the  vessel.  The 
motifs  are  always  geometrical.  They  may  be  described  as  sigmoid  curves, 
labyrinths,  Greek  frets,  and  elaborations  of  the  chevron.  A  few  vessels 
are  decorated  with  plain  red  bands  on  a  white  background. 

Many  urns  show  on  their  lower  portions  striations  resulting  from  the 
use  of  corn  husks  in  the  smoothing  process. 

Guarani  vessels  are,  as  a  rule,  without  handles,  though,  according  to 
Mayntzhusen  (1912,  p.  465),  they  may  occur  in  a  few  instances.  Some 
vessels  were  suspended  through  holes  in  the  rim  or  through  lateral 

At  Arroyo  Malo  were  found  some  clay  "hemispheres,"  or  lumps 
decorated  with  incised  patterns.    Lothrop  (1932,  p.  143)  calls  them  fire 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  75 

dogs,  that  is  to  say,  supports  for  pots,  a  hypothesis  completely  unconfirmed. 
No  object  of  that  type  has  been  found  in  any  other  Guarani  region. 

A  fragment  of  a  double  vessel  found  at  Arroyo  Malo  suggests  a  type 
of  bowl  used  by  the  Chiriguano,  though  these  modern  vessels  are  obviously 
copied  after  European  yerba  mate  containers.  An  effigy  vessel  collected 
at  Arroyo  Malo  is  definitely  alien  to  Guarani  culture  as  known  through 

Crude  stone  drills,  knives,  hammers,  and  arrow-shaft  polishers  are 
listed  by  Mayntzhusen  (1912,  p.  463)  among  the  stone  objects  he  picked 
up  from  refuse  heaps  on  the  upper  Parana  River.  He  also  mentions 
quartz  lip  plugs.  Simple  neolithic  stone  axes  without  any  groove  have 
been  found  in  Guarani  sites  of  the  upper  Parana  River,  on  the  island 
of  Martin  Garcia,  and  at  Arroyo  Malo.  Lothrop  (1932,  p.  145)  describes 
two  fragmentary  bolas  from  Arroyo  Malo.  One  is  well  made  with  a 
broad  groove ;  the  other  is  roughly  shaped  with  a  narrow  groove.  Outes 
(1917,  fig.  28)  figures  also  a  grooved  bola  obtained  at  Martin  Garcia. 
The  bola  was  not  a  Guarani  weapon  and  its  use  seems  to  have  been  limited 
to  the  Guarani  of  the  Delta. 

Hammerstones,  roughly  shaped  by  abrasion  and  including  some  pitted 
ones,  have  come  to  light  in  the  excavations  of  Arroyo  Malo. 

The  bone  artifacts  which  Mayntzhusen  claims  to  have  collected  on 
ancient  sites  of  the  Parana  River  include  needles,  weaver  daggers, 
spatulae,  fishhooks,  and  flutes.  He  also  discovered  perforated  shell  disks 
and  some  human  or  animal  teeth  which  were  parts  of  a  necklace. 


No  mineral  wealth  has  ever  been  exploited  in  Paraguay,  but  metal 
objects  found  among  the  aborigenes  of  this  country  in  the  16th  century 
brought  about  the  conquest  of  the  entire  basin  of  the  Rio  de  la  Plata. 
The  gold  and  silver,  which  members  of  the  Solis  expedition  obtained 
from  the  Guarani  and  other  Indians  of  this  region,  had  come  originally 
from  the  Inca  Empire.  At  the  end  of  the  15th  century,  probably 
under  the  reign  of  Inca  Yupanqui,  bands  of  Guarani  had  crossed  the 
Chaco  to  raid  the  peaceful  Chane  along  the  Inca  frontier  and  even  attacked 
tribes  directly  under  Inca  rule.  Some  of  these  Guarani  bands  settled  in 
the  conquered  territories;  others  returned  loaded  with  loot.  Groups, 
small  and  large,  followed  the  first  invaders  and  renewed  their  assaults 
against  the  "people  of  the  metal."  The  number  of  metal  objects  which 
reached  Paraguay  and  the  Rio  de  la  Plata  in  this  manner  must  have 
been  considerable  for,  from  the  beginning  of  the  Conquest,  regions  which 
actually  had  nothing  to  entice  the  Spaniards  were  the  object  of  their 
most  violent  covetousness.  These  regions  became  the  gateway  to 
El  Dorado. 

The  first  positive  information  on  the  "Sierra  de  la  Plata"  or  "Tierra 

76  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

rica"  was  obtained  by  Alejo  Garcia,  who,  with  a  few  other  white  men, 
joined  a  Guarani  raid  against  the  Inca  border.  He  wrote  of  his  discovery 
to  his  companions  who  had  remained  in  Santa  Catarina.  When  Sebastian 
Cabot  landed  at  Pernambuco  in  1526,  he  had  been  told  of  gold  and  silver 
in  the  region  of  the  Rio  de  la  Plata.  Later,  in  Santa  Catarina  he  obtained 
more  detailed  information  from  Alejo  Garcia's  companions  and  heard 
that  "near  the  sierra  there  was  a  white  king,  dressed  like  a  Spaniard," 
and  that  Garcia  and  his  companions  had  seen  mines  and  had  spoken 
with  the  Indians  who  lived  near  the  sierra  and  "wore  silver  crowns  on 
their  heads  and  gold  plates  hanging  from  their  necks  and  ears  and  at- 
tached around  their  belts."  With  his  letter,  Garcia  had  sent  specimens 
of  the  metal.  Convinced  that  they  had  reached  El  Dorado,  Sebastian 
Cabot  abandoned  his  intended  journey  to  the  East  Indies  and  decided 
to  ascend  the  Rio  de  la  Plata,  where  he  was  assured  he  could  "load  a  ship 
with  gold  and  silver."  Cabot  sailed  the  Parana  and  then  the  Paraguay 
River  to  its  junction  with  the  Pilcomayo  River.  Ramirez,  in  his  famous 
letter  recounting  the  Cabot  expedition,  says  that,  "the  Guarani  Indians 
of  the  region  of  Santa  Ana  wear  many  ear  pendants  and  pendants  of 
gold  and  silver,"  and  that  a  brigantine's  crew  saw  the  same  things  some- 
what upstream.  Through  an  interpreter,  the  Spaniards  learned  that  the 
Chandule,  who  were  Indians  of  the  same  tribe  living  180  miles  (60 
leagues)  up  the  Paraguay  River,  "traded  gold  to  the  Guarani  for  beads 
and  canoes."  The  Chandule,  who  were  probably  the  Guarani  of  the  region 
of  Itati,  had  much  metal,  "according  to  the  Indians,  because  women  and 
children  went  from  their  settlements  to  the  mountain  and  brought  back 
the  aforesaid  metal"  (Ramirez  in  Medina,  J.  T.,  1908,  p.  456). 

The  Cabot  expedition  was  a  failure,  but  the  reports  about  the  Sierra 
de  la  Plata,  the  Caracara  Indians  (i.e.,  the  Quechua  Indians  of  Charcas), 
and  the  silver  and  gold  of  the  Guarani  were  avidly  received  by  the 
Spaniards  and  led  to  the  expedition  of  Adelantado  Pedro  de  Mendoza. 
In  1536,  Mendoza  sent  Juan  de  Ayolas  up  the  Paraguay  River  to  find 
a  route  to  the  land  of  the  Caracara.  Ayolas  ascended  the  Paraguay  River 
to  the  Port  of  Candelaria,  at  lat.  19°  S.,  whence,  led  by  a  former  slave 
of  Garcia,  he  crossed  the  Chaco  through  the  land  of  the  Mhayd,  and 
reached  the  Caracara.  Like  Alejo  Garcia,  he  returned  "with  20  loads 
of  gold  and  silver,"  but,  on  reaching  the  Paraguay  River,  he  and  his 
companions  were  massacred  by  the  Payagua  Indians  (1538).  A  year 
earlier,  Juan  de  Salazar  de  Espinosa  had  founded  the  city  of  Asuncion. 
The  Cario  {Guarani),  who  understood  the  aim  of  the  Spaniards  and 
who  hoped  to  make  them  allies  in  their  raids,  were  extremely  friendly 
to  the  Spaniards,  and  provided  them  with  food  and  women.  Henceforth, 
the  Guarani  served  as  auxiliaries  and  porters  in  all  Spanish  expeditions, 
whether  to  the  Chaco  or  to  the  Andes,  When  Alvar  Nunez  Cabeza  de 
Vaca  fought  the  Mbayd-Guaicuru  in  1542,  he  was  assisted  by  10,000 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  77 

Guarani,  who  gathered  at  Tapua.  Two  thousand  Guarani  accompanied 
Domingo  de  Irala  in  1548  and  even  more  followed  Nufrio  de  Chaves 
in  1558. 

The  Guarani  later  resisted  the  ruthless  exploitation  of  which  they  were 
victims  (for  example,  the  revolts  of  Tabare  and  Guarambare),  but  they 
lacked  the  determination  and  unity  shown  by  other  tribes  so  that  their 
revolts  were  easily  crushed.  Later  Guarani  rebellions  were  often  led  by 
native  messiahs,  the  most  famous  of  whom  was  Obera  (end  of  the  16th 
century),  who  promised  the  Indians  supernatural  support  and  convinced 
them  that  the  happiness  of  native  times  would  be  restored  after  the  final 
expulsion  of  the  White  men. 

From  the  outset,  the  conquistadors,  like  the  European  colonists  on 
the  coast  of  Brazil,  were  strongly  attracted  by  the  beauty  of  the  Guarani 
women — who  readily  yielded  to  their  solicitations — and  took  native  wives 
or  mistresses.  As  some  of  these  were  daughters  and  sisters  of  local 
chiefs,  the  alliances  proved  useful  to  the  Spaniards,  for  the  Indians  felt 
obliged  to  support  and  serve  their  new  relatives.  The  Spaniards  lived 
scattered  in  small  ranches  around  Asuncion,  surrounded  by  harems  (some 
with  20  to  30  women),  and  by  their  wives'  relatives. 

The  young  colony  came  to  consist  of  a  rapidly  growing  Mestizo  popu- 
lation, without  which  it  would  have  been  abandoned  soon  after  the 
Conquest  of  Peru.  The  system  of  encomiendas,  introduced  in  the  middle 
of  the  16th  century,  had  the  usual  dire  effects  on  the  native  population. 
Forced  to  work  for  their  masters  and  often  ill-treated,  the  Indians  died 
by  the  thousands.  At  the  end  of  the  16th  century,  there  remained 
within  a  radius  of  21  miles  (7  leagues)  around  Asuncion,  only  3,000 
Indians.  The  region  of  Tapua,  north  of  Asuncion,  which  had  been 
covered  with  ranches,  was  practically  abandoned.  The  disappearance 
of  the  natives,  however,  was  compensated  by  the  constant  increase  of 
the  Mestizos,  or  "mancebos  de  la  tierra,"  whose  lawlessness  is  often 
stressed  by  Spanish  chroniclers.  These  descendants  of  early  Spaniards 
and  Guarani  form  the  main  element  in  the  million  or  so  people  of  modern 
Paraguay,  so  that  their  language  is  still  spoken  in  rural  Paraguay,  in 
the  Argentine  territory  of  Misiones,  and  in  the  State  of  Corrientes.  Even 
in  cities,  such  as  Asuncion,  part  of  the  population  still  uses  the  language 
of  their  Guarani  ancestors. 

The  missions. — Unlike  the  Guarani  under  the  Spanish  encomiendas, 
that  portion  of  the  tribe  which  occupied  the  upper  Parana  River  and  the 
Uruguay  River  basin  was  subject  to  Jesuit  missions  for  about  two  centuries 
(1608-1767).  Their  post-Conquest  history,  therefore,  is  identical  with 
that  of  the  missions.  The  first  Jesuits  (Juan  Solano,  Manuel  de  Ortega, 
and  Tomas  Filds)  arrived  in  Asuncion  in  1588.  Two  of  these  fathers 
went  to  the  region  of  El  Guaira,  a  territory  defined  on  the  west  by  the 
Parana  River,  on  the  north  by  the  Tiete  River,  on  the  south  by  the  Iguassu 

78  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

River,  and  in  the  east  by  a  vague  line  drawn  by  the  treaty  of  Tordesillas. 
Here,  the  Spaniards  had  founded  two  cities,  Ciudad  real  del  Guaira  (1554) 
and  Villarica.  The  two  Jesuits  visited  numerous  Indian  villages,  baptizing 
children  and  moribunds,  but  they  did  not  establish  any  permanent  mission. 
In  1609,  the  King  of  Spain,  at  the  request  of  Hernandarias  de  Saavedra, 
Governor  of  Paraguay,  granted  the  Jesuits  permission  to  conquer  the 
150,000  Guarani  Indians  of  El  Guaira,  by  "means  of  doctrines  and  by  the 
preaching  of  the  Gospel." 

The  first  Jesuit  mission  in  Paraguay  was  San  Ignacio  Guazu,  founded 
north  of  the  Parana  River,  but  the  first  establishments  of  El  Guaira 
(Nuestra  Sefiora  de  Loreto  and  San  Ignacio-miri  on  the  Pirapo  River), 
which  were  to  become  so  prosperous,  were  created  in  1610  by  Fathers  Jose 
Cataldino  and  Simon  Maceta.  The  apostle  of  the  Guaira  was  the  famous 
Antonio  Ruiz  de  Montoya,  founder  of  11  missions  between  1622  and  1629 
and  author  of  the  great  classic  of  Guarani  language,  the  "Arte,  vocabulario, 
tesoro  de  la  lengua  Guarani"  (1876).  In  another  book,  "Conquista 
espiritual  ...  del  Paraguay"  (1892),  he  reports  his  adventures  and 
successes  and  the  ruin  of  the  missions.  In  1630,  the  flourishing  missions  of 
El  Guaira  were  destroyed  by  the  raids  of  slave  hunters  from  Sao  Paulo, 
the  dreaded  mamelucos,  who  attacked  the  missions  and  captured  all  whom 
they  did  not  slaughter.  In  a  few  years,  they  are  said  to  have  killed  or 
enslaved  300,000  Guarani  Indians.  From  1628  to  1630  they  took  60,000 
Indians  from  the  Jesuit  missions  to  Sao  Paulo.  In  1631  Ruiz  de  Montoya 
evacuated  Loreto  and  San  Ignacio,  the  two  last  missions  to  survive  in  El 
Guaira,  and  took  the  people  in  a  heroic  anabasis  from  El  Guaira  to  the 
Parana  River.  Twelve  thousand  Indians  began  this  forced  migration  but 
only  4,000  survived  its  vicissitudes. 

The  northern  territory  of  the  Guarani,  between  the  Paraguay,  Mbotetey 
(Miranda),  and  Jejui-guazu  Rivers  and  the  Sierra  de  Amambay,  was 
called  the  Province  of  Itatin  after  one  of  its  local  Guarani  subtribes.  The 
Jesuits  founded  four  missions  here  in  1631,  but  in  1632  these  were  all 
destroyed  by  the  mamelucos  from  Sao  Paulo.  Later,  two  new  missions 
were  founded  in  the  same  area. 

The  same  year  the  Jesuits  entered  the  mountainous  region  in  the  Bra- 
zilian State  of  Rio  Grande  do  Sul,  which  forms  the  divide  between  the 
basins  of  the  Uruguay  and  the  Jacui  Rivers.  This  was  formerly  called 
Tape,  but  today  only  a  branch  of  the  mountain  system  is  known  as  Sierra 
de  los  Tapes ;  the  remainder  is  known  as  Sierra  de  San  Martin  and  Cuchilla 
Grande.  From  1632  to  1635,  the  Jesuits  founded  10  "reducciones"  here. 
The  renewed  assaults  of  the  mamelucos  in  1638  forced  the  Jesuits  to 
evacuate  the  missions  of  Tape,  a  region  that  was  forever  lost  to  Portugal. 
After  these  last  inroads,  the  Guarani  Indians  received  guns  and,  on  two 
occasions — at  Caazapa-guazii  and  at  Mborore  (1639  and  1640) — ^they 
defeated  the  mamelucos.    From  1687  to  1707,  eight  new  missions  were 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  79 

founded  which,  together  with  the  others,  formed  the  30  cities  of  the  so- 
called  "Paraguayan  State  of  the  Jesuits." 

The  Jesuit  expansion  was  resisted  by  certain  Guarani  shamans,  chiefs, 
and  especially  messiahs,  who  seem  to  have  been  very  numerous  in  this 
period  of  hardship  and  misery.  Meanwhile,  the  Jesuits  were  persecuted  by 
the  encomenderos,  who  could  not  tolerate  the  loss  of  so  many  Indians  to 
the  missionaries.  The  southern  missions  of  Yapeyu  and  La  Cruz  were 
often  molested  by  the  incursions  of  the  Yard,  Mbohane,  Minuane,  and 
Charrua  Indians.  Several  expeditions  of  Guarani  were  led  by  Spanish 
officers  against  these  wild  tribes. 

The  first  blow  to  the  Jesuits  was  the  treaty  of  1750  between  Spain  and 
Portugal,  by  which  Philip  VI  yielded  to  Portugal  seven  Jesuit  missions 
on  the  eastern  side  of  the  Uruguay  River  (San  Borja,  San  Nicolas,  San 
Luis,  San  Lorenzo,  Santo  Angel,  San  Miguel,  and  San  Juan)  in  exchange 
for  the  colony  of  Sacramento.  The  Indians  refused  to  abandon  their 
villages  and  resisted  by  arms  the  forced  expulsion.  Both  Spain  and 
Portugal  had  to  send  armies,  which  defeated  the  Indians  in  1756.  Three 
years  later,  the  Tratado  de  Limites  was  abrogated  and  the  seven  towns  were 
returned  to  the  Jesuits,  but  in  the  meantime  they  had  been  partially 
destroyed  and  the  Indian  population,  estimated  at  30,000  a  few  years 
before,  had  considerably  decreased. 

The  year  1767,  when  all  Jesuits  were  expelled  from  South  America,  is 
a  fateful  date  in  the  history  of  the  South  American  Indians.  The  Indians 
who  had  been  under  Jesuit  rule  dwindled  or  disappeared  altogether. 
Tribes  left  their  missions  to  return  to  the  bush ;  Indians  in  Jesuit  colonies 
reverted  to  barbarism  and  regions  previously  explored  again  became  geo- 
graphical blanks  on  the  map. 

The  new  charter  which  Don  Francisco  de  Paula  Bucareli  y  Ursua 
drafted  for  the  missions  after  the  expulsion  of  the  Jesuits  differed  from 
the  previous  system  only  in  minor  points.  The  so-called  communistic 
feature  of  the  Jesuit  regime  and  the  restrictions  on  commerce  were  main- 
tained, but  none  of  the  more  progressive  aspects  of  the  plan,  such  as  the 
foundation  of  a  University,  were  ever  applied.  Control  of  the  missions 
was  given  to  Franciscans,  assisted  by  lay  administrators.  The  results 
were  baleful.  The  missions  were  invaded  by  colonists  who  robbed  the 
Indians  of  their  lands  and  destroyed  the  cattle  and  mate  plantations. 
The  fields  were  abandoned  and  the  handicrafts  forgotten  through  lack  of 
teachers.  The  Indians  were  forced  to  work  for  the  Whites  and  were 
victimized  by  the  local  authorities.  Many  continued  to  live  on  their 
plantations  but  others  returned  to  the  forests.  Those  who  remained  in 
the  missions  were  completely  demoralized  by  alcoholism  and  the  bad 
example  of  the  colonists.  The  wars  of  independence  and  the  later  national 
wars  completed  the  decadence  and  the  ruin  of  the  missions.  In  1801  the 
seven  towns  in  Uruguay  were  given  back  to  Portugal;  in   1817  the 

80  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

dictator,  Francia,  ordered  the  destruction  of  the  five  missions  south  of 
the  Parana  River.  The  15  missions  between  the  Parana  and  Uruguay 
Rivers  were  abandoned  during  the  war  of  1816-18.  The  Guarani  who 
were  not  slaughtered  settled  in  small  villages,  often  near  the  ancient 
missions.  In  1848  the  dictator  of  Paraguay,  Carlos  Antonio  Lopez, 
suppressed  Bucareli's  regime  and  forced  the  6,000  Guarani  who  still 
occupied  missions  to  live  in  ordinary  villages  like  the  remainder  of  the 
Paraguayan  population.  The  last  vestiges  of  the  Jesuit  system  disappeared 
after  that  date. 

The  Jesuit  missions  of  Paraguay  have  been  the  subject  of  considerable 
controversy  concerning  their  alleged  communistic  organization. 



The  early  Guarani  seem  to  have  been  proficient  horticulturists,  perhaps 
superior  to  their  modern  descendants,  the  Caingud,  who  are  said  to  be 
unable  to  subsist  entirely  on  the  output  of  their  small  fields.  Like  the 
Tupinamha,  the  Guarani  supplemented  their  diet  with  all  kinds  of  wild 
fruits,  and  with  game  and  fish. 

Fanning. — The  whole  community,  among  both  ancient  and  modern 
Guarani,  cooperated  in  clearing  a  large  field  by  the  slash-and-burn  method 
in  a  thick  forest  and  then  subdivided  it  into  family  plots.  Planting  and 
sowing  were  regulated  by  the  course  of  the  Pleiades.  The  main  agricul- 
tural tool  was  the  digging  stick.  After  five  or  six  years  of  cultivation 
fields  were  considered  exhausted  and  were  abandoned. 

Most  plants  typical  of  the  Tropics,  excepi  cayenne  pepper,  were  raised 
by  the  Guarani  and  are  still  grown  by  their  descendants,  the  Caingud  and 
the  Paraguayan  Mestizos.  Manioc,  mainly  the  sweet  species,  and  maize 
are  the  staples.  The  Caingud  cultivate  manioc,  maize  (5  varieties),  sev- 
eral varieties  of  sweet  potatoes,  beans,  mangara  (Xanthosoma  sp.),  a  tuber 
called  carahu  (Dioscorea  sp.),  a  leguminosea  called  mbacucu,  peanuts, 
pumpkins,  bananas,  papayas,  and  watermelons.  They  also  grow  an  herb 
(Nissolia  sp.)  for  curing  serpent  bites,  and  two  shrubs  (Rhamanidium 
sp.,  and  Coix  lacryma-jobi),  the  seeds  of  which  serve  as  beads.  The  Pan' 
and  Chiripd  raise  tacuapi  reeds,  or  cana  de  Castilla  (Arundo  donax),  for 
their  arrow  shafts.  The  Caingud  are  very  fond  of  sugarcane,  which  is 
for  them  a  delicacy. 

Gathering  wild  foods. — The  Guarani  of  the  southern  Brazilian  plateau 
consumed  great  quantities  of  pine  nuts  (Araucaria  brasiliensis) ,  which 
are  abundant  in  that  region. 

The  modern  Caingud  subsist  far  more  than  did  their  ancestors  on  wild 
plants,  especially  pindo  palms  (Cocos  romanzoffiana) .  This  tree  not 
only  Drovides  them  leaves  for  making  baskets,  but  also  with  vitamin-rich 
terminal  shoots,  with  juicy  fruits,  oily  nuts,  and  pith  which  the  Indians 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  81 

eat  in  times  of  want.  They  also  gather  the  fruits  of  other  palms,  such  as 
Acrocomia  mokayayba,  A.  total,  Cocos  yatay,  Attalea,  and  of  several  trees 
and  other  plants,  including  Carica,  Annona,  araza,  ihwa-imbe  {Philoden- 
dron  bipinnatifidum) ,  mburucudya  (Passiflora  edulis),  wild  oranges,  etc. 

The  Caingud  relish  honey,  which  is  for  them  an  important  food  resource. 
The  Apapocuva  have  taken  the  first  steps  toward  domesticating  bees. 
When  they  gather  honey,  they  spare  several  combs  so  that  the  bees  can 
return  to  the  same  place  another  time.  They  also  acclimatize  swarms  of 
bees  to  their  villages.  The  fat  of  butterfly  larvae  (Phalaenidae  and 
Morphidae)  and  of  beetles  (tambu,  Calandra  palmarum^)  is  part  of 
Caingud  diet.  They  fell  some  trees  for  the  purpose  of  developing  the 
larvae  in  the  decayed  wood. 

Hunting. — Because  the  Caingud  prefer  meat  to  any  other  food,  their 
main  concern  when  they  move  their  village  is  to  choose  an  area  with 
abundant  game.  They  make  great  use  of  traps.  These  are  of  two  types : 
dead  falls,  which  crush  the  game ;  and  spring  snares  with  automatic 
release,  for  birds  and  even  for  large  quadrupeds,  like  tapir  or  deer.  Traps 
and  pitfalls  are  often  located  at  places  where  animals  enter  fenced  fields. 
The  Caingud  capture  parrots  in  a  noose  at  the  end  of  a  pole.  They  have 
dogs  trained  for  hunting,  especially  for  jaguars. 

Lower  jaws  of  jaguars  are  kept  as  trophies  suspended  in  front  of  huts. 

Fishing. — Fishing  is  of  secondary  importance.  It  is  reported  that  the 
ancient  Guarani  angled  with  wooden  hooks;  those  living  on  the  Coast 
used  tucuma  fiber  nets.  Although  modern  Guarani  are  well  provided 
with  iron  hooks,  they  still  shoot  fish  with  bows  and  arrows,  force  them 
into  baskets  placed  in  the  openings  of  stone  dams,  or  poison  them  in  calm 
water  with  the  juice  of  a  Sapindaceae  (Vogt,  1904,  p.  204). 

Domesticated  animals. — The  only  domesticated  animal  in  pre-Colum- 
bian times  was  the  Muscovy  duck.  Today  they  have  dogs,  chickens,  and 
many  other  European  farm  animals. 

Cooking. — The  food  of  the  rural  population  of  Paraguay  is  largely  a 
heritage  of  the  ancient  Guarani.  The  most  popular  dishes  prepared  with 
maize  are  chipas — cakes  made  of  maize  flour — mbai  puy,  maize  mush, 
abati  pororo,  boiled  maize,  and  guaimi  atucupe — maize  dough  wrapped  in 
leaves  and  cooked  under  the  ashes.  The  Caingud  have  about  12  recipes 
for  preparing  maize.  Maize  flour  baked  in  a  green  bamboo  joint  is 
a  Caingud  specialty. 

Manioc  tubers  are  generally  boiled  or  roasted.  They  are  also  sliced, 
dried  in  the  sun,  and  pounded  into  a  flour  with  which  the  Caingud  make 
wafers.  Flour  for  wafers  is  also  prepared  by  the  Caingud  with  tubers 
soaked  in  water  or  mud  for  8  days,  and  then  dried  in  the  sun  and  ground. 
Manioc  starch  is  also  extracted  by  grating  the  tubers — today  on  a  tin 
grater — and  washing  the  mass  in  water. 

*  Rhynchoplwrus  sp.,  according  to  Strelnichov. 

82  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

They  crush  the  pith  of  the  palms  in  a  mortar,  strain  it  through  a  sieve, 
and  dry  it  in  the  sun. 

Meat  is  more  often  broiled  on  a  spit  than  on  a  babracot.  Broiled  fish 
and  game  are  sometimes  ground  into  powder  (piracui). 

Caingud  do  not  use  salt.  Instead  they  season  their  food  with  the  ashes 
of  a  tree  {Machaerium  angustifolium) . 

Wooden  mortars  are  generally  made  of  a  long  log  hollowed  at  one 
end,  but  some  have  the  grinding  pit  on  the  side.  Flour  is  strained  through 
beautifully  plaited  sieves,  identical  to  those  of  Guiana,  although  Paraguay 
is  the  southernmost  limit  of  their  distribution.  When  the  Caingud  have 
no  pottery  at  hand,  they  boil  food  in  green  bamboo  joints.  They  serve 
food  in  wooden  dishes  or  in  calabashes  of  various  sizes  and  shapes. 


A  typical  Guarani  village  consisted  of  four  to  eight  large  rectangular 
houses — some  about  50  m.  (165  ft.)  long — grouped  around  a  square 
plaza.  Each  house  had  a  vaulted  or  gabled  roof  which  rose  from  the 
ground  and  was  supported  on  a  ridge  pole  that  rested  on  a  row  of  posts 
dividing  off  the  quarters  of  each  individual  family.  The  roof  was  thatched 
with  grass,  palm  leaves  and,  in  certain  regions  of  the  coast,  with  pieces 
of  bark.  There  was  a  door  on  each  side  of  the  house.  Villages  were  forti- 
fied with  a  double  or  triple  stockade  and  a  series  of  moats,  bristling  with 
half-buried  spears. 

The  vaulted  hut  has  survived  only  among  the  Pan'.  Other  Caingud 
now  build  either  a  gable  roof  resting  on  the  ground  and  thatched  with 
tacuapi  grass,  or  palm  leaves,  or  a  gabled  house  with  vertical  wattle-and- 
daub  walls  (4  to  6  m.,  or  13  to  20  ft.,  long;  3  to  4  m.,  or  10  to  13  ft., 
wide).  Grass  thatching  is  sewn  to  the  structure  with  large  wooden 
needles.  Of  all  the  modern  Guarani  only  some  Caingud  of  Brazil  still 
lived  in  communal  houses  50  years  ago.  These  houses  were  25  to  50 
feet  (7.5  to  15  m.)  long  and  were  grouped  in  villages  surrounded  by  a 
thorn  hedge  or  a  palisade. 

Household  furniture. — The  aboriginal  cotton  or  palm-fiber  hammock 
is  now  being  supplanted  by  the  platform  bed  or  sleeping  mat.  Four- 
legged  benches,  which  are  often  carved  out  of  a  single  log  in  animal 
shapes,  are  still  fairly  common.  Utensils  and  foods  are  stored  on  shelves 
suspended  from  the  roof  or  are  hung  on  wooden  hooks  or  on  bent  deer  feet. 


Clothing. — Most  of  the  Guarani  went  entirely  naked,  although  in  cer- 
tain regions,  it  seems,  women  wore  either  a  loincloth  or  a  cotton  dress 
(the  tipoy),  a  sacklike  garment  covering  the  body  from  the  breasts  to 
the  knees  which  was  eventually  adopted  universally  through  missionary 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  83 

influence.  The  southernmost  Guarani,  who  lived  in  a  harsh  climate, 
followed  the  example  of  the  Charrua  and  wore  skin  cloaks.  In  some 
Caingud  groups,  men  wear  a  loincloth  (hence  the  name  Chiripd)  ;  in 
others  they  pass  a  piece  of  cloth  between  the  legs  and  tuck  it  under  a 
belt  of  human  hair  or  fibers  (hence  the  name,  Baticola,  "crupper"). 
Today  cotton  ponchos  are  sometimes  worn  by  men. 

Ornaments. — The  distinctive  lip  ornament  of  ancient  and  modern 
Guarani  is  a  long  T-shaped  stick  made  of  jatahy  rosin;  labrets  of 
stone  or  bone  were  exceptional.^^  Women  hang  triangular  shell  pendants 
from  their  ears.  In  the  16th  century,  men  wore  huge  shell-disk 
necklaces,  which  have  often  been  discovered  in  archeological  sites.  A 
few  privileged  individuals  suspended  on  their  chest  pendants  of  silver 
or  copper  plates  which  had  reached  Paraguay  from  Peru. 

At  ceremonies,  modern  Caingud  men  wear  feather  wreaths,  cotton 
sashes  fringed  with  feathers,  or  seed  necklaces  with  feather  tassels.  Pairs 
of  these  necklaces  are  crossed  over  the  chest.  Children's  and  women's 
necklaces  are  strung  with  pyramidal  wooden  beads,  wooden  or  bone 
pendants  carved  into  human  or  animal  forms,  seeds,  small  gourds,  fish 
vertebrae,  pendants  made  of  toucan  skin,  and  other  objects. 

Feather  cloaks,  formerly  worn  by  famous  chiefs,  are  no  longer  seen, 
but  feather  bracelets  and  diadems  are  still  used  by  shamans  or  participants 
in  religious  ceremonies.  On  some  headdresses,  feathers  were  mounted 
on  a  woven  frontlet,  a  technique  suggesting  Andean  influence.  Feather 
garlands  were  sometimes  tied  on  top  of  the  head  in  the  form  of  rudi- 
mentary bonnets.  The  Mbyd  wear  bracelets,  garters,  and  anklets  of 
human  hair.  Belts  of  hair  are  worn  only  by  men.  Finger  rings  of 
palm  fruits  or  iguana  tails  seem  now  to  have  become  fashionable. 

The  circular  tonsure  of  the  ancient  Guarani,  still  used  by  some  Caingud 
groups,  did  not  extend  to  the  forehead,  as  among  the  Tupinamha,  but 
was  similar  to  that  of  Franciscan  monks. 

Painting. — ^The  use  of  urucii  for  body  paint  is  widespread,  but  that  of 
genipa  seems  to  be  limited  to  the  Brazilian  Caingud.  Other  groups  sub- 
stitute for  it  the  juices  of  several  plants  or  a  mixture  of  charcoal  and 
honey  or  wax.  Traditional  facial  designs  are  dots  and  stripes,  some- 
times applied  with  bamboo  stamps. 

The  ancient  Itatin  rubbed  ashes  from  bones  of  birds  of  prey  or  swift 
animals  into  cuts  made  in  their  skin  to  improve  their  dexterity  in  archery. 


Boats. — The  ancient  literature  rarely  mentions  dugout  canoes  though 
they  must  have  been  common  on  the  Paraguay  and  Parana  Rivers.  The 
Paraguayan  Caingud  live  on  streams  that  are  unsuited  to  boats  and  con- 
sequently make  only  a  few  dugouts  or  bamboo  rafts,  mainly  for  crossing 

*'  Today  labrets  have  fallen   into  disuse. 

84  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

rivers.  They  propel  these  craft  with  poles.  The  Cayud  of  Brazil,  who 
reside  near  larger  streams,  are  good  boatmen  and  travel  a  great  deal  in 
large  dugouts,  8  to  12  feet  (2.5  to  3.5  m.)  long. 

Carrying  devices. — Goods  are  carried  in  cylindrical  or  rectangular 
twilled  baskets,  reinforced  with  a  wooden  frame.  Pan'  carrying  baskets 
are  relatively  extensible  and  are  made  of  intertwined  pindo  leaves,  the 
midribs  strengthening  the  whole  structure.  Carrying  nets  made  of  bark 
strips  were  clearly  introduced  with  the  mate  industry.  The  Guarani  skin 
bag  is  certainly  older  than  the  net  and  appears  to  be  an  article  that  origin- 
ated locally  or  was  borrowed  from  tribes  to  the  south. 

Babies  are  ordinarily  carried  in  a  sling,  straddling  their  mothers'  hips, 
but  they  may  be  transported  in  baskets  or  in  skin  bags. 


Basketry. — The  Guarani  weave  temporary  baskets  of  the  pinnae  of 
pindo  palms,  the  midrib  serving  to  reinforce  the  rim.  More  permanent 
containers  are  made  of  twilled  fabrics  of  tacuarembo  strands.  They  are 
ornamented  with  black,  geometrical  motifs. 

Spinning  and  weaving. — Thread  is  made  of  cotton  carded  with  a  bow, 
or  of  Bromelia,  nettle  ( Urera  grandifolia) ,  and  palm  (Acrocomia  total) 

Cotton  is  spun  with  a  drop  spindle  and  woven  on  a  vertical  loom  with  a 
circular  warp.  Cloth  is  generally  white  with  alternate  brown  and  black 
stripes,  dyed  with  the  bark  of  Peltophorum  duhium  and  Trichilia  catigua. 
The  technique  of  darning  weft  strands  through  warp  elements  attached  to 
a  vertical  loom,  though  it  has  been  observed  in  modem  times,  was  probably 
an  early  practice  abandoned  when  true  weaving  became  general,  probably 
through  Arawak  influence. 

Pottery. — Guarani  ceramics  are  known  through  archeological  finds  in 
Sao  Paulo,  Rio  Grande  do  Sul,  near  Asuncion  in  the  Argentine  territory  of 
Misiones,  and  on  the  island  of  Martin  Garcia.  The  largest  specimens  are 
funeral  urns,  which  also  served  as  beer  containers.  Small  dishes  and  bowls 
have  a  white  interior  slip  which  bears  sigmoid  figures,  curves,  triangles, 
mazes,  and  "grecques."  The  large  jars  and  ordinary  ware  have  continuous 
rows  of  thumbnail  or  other  impressions  over  their  entire  surface.  The 
Caingua,  who  have  practically  given  up  pottery,  make  only  a  ware  that  is 
decadent  in  quality  and  shape.  Bowls  with  a  flaring  base  ("compotera" 
types)  may  perhaps  be  a  survival  of  a  pre-Columbian  type. 

Leather  work. — The  Caingua  carry  their  small  possessions  in  skin 

Weapons. — Caingua  bows  are  made  of  palm  wood,  guayaihwi  (Pata- 
gonula  americana),  or  ihvira  payu,  ihvira  pepe  {Holocalyx  halansae). 
They  are  6  to  8  feet  (2  to  2.5  m.)  long,  circular  or  oval  in  cross  section, 
and  entirely  or  partially  wrapped  with  guembe  bark  {Philodendron  sp.) 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  85 

or  covered  with  a  basketry  sheath  in  the  center.  A  small  bulge  at  each 
end  made  of  wrapped  bark  strips  prevents  the  fiber  bowstring  from 
slipping.  Archers  wear  wrist  guards  of  human  hair  or  of  cotton  (Chiripd) . 
The  main  types  of  arrowheads  found  in  the  tropical  area  are  used  by  the 
Caingud:  Lanceolate  taquara  heads;  tapering  sticks,  plain  or  barbed  on 
one  or  both  sides ;  and  conical  wooden  plugs  for  stunning  birds. 

The  war  arrows  of  the  ancient  Guarani  were  often  tipped  with  human 

The  arrow  shafts  are  made  either  of  the  native  tacuati  reed  (Merosta- 
chys  argyronema)  or  more  commonly  of  the  imported  tacuapi,  or  cafia 
de  Castilla  (Arundo  donax). 

The  feathering  is  of  the  Eastern  Brazilian,  or  arched  type.  The  pellet- 
bow  is  widely  used  by  young  Caingud  boys  to  shoot  birds  or  small  rodents.  ^ 
The  missiles  are  small  clay  pellets. 

Caingud  clubs  are  either  swordlike  with  cutting  edges  or  plain  sticks 
with  a  square  cross  section  and  a  basketry  sheath  around  the  handle. 
Sometimes  they  taper  into  a  point.  The  Guarani  were  acquainted  with  the 
sling  but  found  little  use  for  it  in  their  forested  habitat. 

The  Guarani  warriors  whom  the  Spaniards  fought  in  the  16th  century 
carried  shields,  often  decorated  with  feathers.  This  defensive  weapon 
has  not  been  reported  since  the  17th  century. 


Among  the  ancient  Guarani,  the  social  unit  was  probably  the  large 
extended  patrilineal  family — perhaps  the  sib.  Sometimes  as  many  as  60 
families  lived  under  the  same  roof.  Each  community  had  a  chief,  but  the 
actual  power  was  often  in  the  hands  of  a  shaman.  Ma,ny  of  the  great 
Guara7ii  leaders  who  resisted  the  Spaniards  in  the  17th  century  were 
shamans  endowed  with  divine  prestige.  Some  ancient  chiefs  extended 
their  influence  over  a  fairly  wide  area.  A  general  council  of  chiefs  and 
adult  men  decided  community  and  district  affairs  and  elected  war  chiefs 
who  commanded  obedience  during  expeditions. 

All  Apapocuva-Guarani  chiefs,  for  at  least  a  hundred  years,  have  been 
shamans  who  have  reached  the  highest  rank  within  their  profession.  Like 
the  ancient  chiefs,  they  have  been  credited  with  supernatural  power  and 
with  miracles  performed  on  behalf  of  their  people. 

A  Guarani  chief  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son  unless  there  was  some 
stronger  member  of  the  family.  However,  an  eloquent  man  distinguished 
in  warfare  might  become  chief.  Persons  dissatisfied  with  their  headman 
might  secede  and  start  a  new  settlement  under  another  leader.  Chiefs  of 
Caingud  communities  in  Paraguay  have  a  Spanish  title  and  carry  a  stick 
as  symbol  of  their  ofiice.  Fifty  years  ago,  a  few  villages  were  administered 
as  in  Jesuit  times,  by  a  cacique  mayor  and  cacique  menor,  a  sargento,  and 

*  For  a  good  description  of  the  Guarani  pellet-bow,  see  Azara,  1809,  2:67. 

86  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

a  cabo  (Vogt,  1904,  p.  203).  Today  the  number  of  Indians  under  the 
authority  of  a  chief  vary  from  20  to  about  100. 

The  members  of  the  ancient  Guarani  communities  built  the  houses  of 
their  chiefs  and  tilled  their  fields  and  harvested  their  crops  (Ruiz  de 
Montoya,  1892,  p.  49). 

Law  and  order. — It  is  only  about  modern  Caingud  communities  that 
there  is  some  information  on  justice  and  law.  Thieves  are  detected  by 
shamans,  who  touch  each  suspected  man  on  the  chest  near  the  heart.  If 
the  fingers  leave  a  red  mark,  the  man  is  guilty.  A  stolen  wife  must  be 
returned  with  a  present.  In  case  of  murder,  if  the  criminal's  relatives  do 
not  pay  the  wergild  to  prevent  a  feud,  the  offended  family  takes  the 
punishment  into  its  own  hands. 

Etiquette. — Among  ancient  Guarani,  when  a  guest  entered  a  hut,  he 
was  surrounded  by  women  who  wailed  and  enumerated  the  deeds  of  his 
dead  relatives.  The  guest  covered  his  face  with  his  hands  and  shed  a 
few  tears.  The  amount  of  crying  and  wailing  was  proportionate  to  the 
importance  of  the  visitor  (Ruiz  de  Montoya,  1892,  p.  52). 


Birth  and  naming. — Even  in  modern  days,  a  pregnant  woman  must 
avoid  any  food  that  might  make  her  child  abnormal.  After  childbirth, 
the  father  lies  in  his  hammock  until  the  infant's  navel  cord  falls  off,  re- 
fraining from  activities  thought  harmful  to  the  baby.  The  Apapocuva 
believe  that  babies  are  reincarnated  dead  people,  hence  one  of  the  shaman's 
first  tasks  is  to  identify  the  returning  spirit  and,  by  means  of  his  super- 
natural power,  to  obtain  a  magic  substance  to  be  rubbed  into  the  child's 
body.  Infant  baptism,  though  Catholic  in  many  respects,  is  permeated 
by  ancient  rites  and  beliefs.  Names  refer  to  mythical  beings  or  to  sacred 
objects  associated  with  the  place  on  the  horizon  from  which  the  soul  is 
supposed  to  have  come.  Children  may  be  very  closely  identified  with 
the  deities  of  the  Upper  World,  and  those  from  the  west,  the  abode  of 
Tupa,  may  receive  a  miniature  of  the  bench  symbolic  of  their  divine  name- 
sake. In  case  of  danger,  especially  if  a  person  is  sick,  his  name  is  changed 
and  a  new  ceremony  of  baptism  is  performed  (Nimuendaju,  1914  a,  pp. 

Boys*  initiation. — A  Caingud  boy  undergoes  something  of  an  initiation 
rite  when,  prior  to  puberty,  his  lower  lip  is  perforated  for  the  insertion  of 
a  labret.  After  a  group  of  boys  has  been  somewhat  anesthetized  with  beer, 
a  specialist  perforates  each  boy's  lower  lip  with  a  wooden  or  deer-hom 
awl  and  prays  to  Tupa  that  the  labret  may  protect  its  wearer  against  death. 
For  the  three  following  days  the  initiates  eat  only  maize  mush.  After 
their  initiation  they  drop  the  infantile  "u,  u"  (yes)  for  the  adult  mascu- 
line "ta." 

Vol.  8]  THE  GUAKANI— MBTRAUX  87 

Girls*  puberty. — Among  ancient  Guarani,  at  her  first  menstruation,  a 
girl  was  sewn  in  her  hammock  and  remained  there  for  2  or  3  days.  Her 
hair  was  cut  short  and,  until  it  grew  to  its  former  length,  she  had  to 
forego  meat  and  to  work  hard  under  the  supervision  of  an  older  woman. 
For  modern  Caingud  also,  coming  of  age  is  a  critical  period  which  calls 
for  many  ritual  observances ;  the  girl  is  secluded  for  3  weeks  behind 
a  screen  in  a  corner  of  the  house  and  eats  only  a  few  foods,  which  must  be 
lukewarm.  She  must  not  talk,  laugh,  lift  her  eyes  from  the  ground, 
scratch  herself,  or  blow  on  the  fire.  She  must  also  listen  to  advice  con- 
cerning her  future  life  as  a  wife  and  a  mother.  Before  she  resumes  normal 
activities,  a  shaman  washes  her  with  a  special  decoction. 

Marriage. — There  is  little  information  on  marriage  in  ancient  times. 
Girls  were  married  soon  after  puberty.  Child  betrothal  is  reported  among 
the  Guarani  of  the  Parana  River.  In  some  cases  little  girls  were  given  to 
grown  men,  who  lived  with  their  child  wives,  probably  in  the  house  of  their 
future  parents-in-law. 

Child  betrothal  is  reported  among  modern  Caingud,  but  the  girls  re- 
main with  their  parents,  who  receive  presents  from  their  prospective 
sons-in-law.  The  preferred  form  of  marriage  seems  to  have  been  between 
cross-cousins  and  between  a  maternal  uncle  and  his  niece.  Union  with  a 
mother  and  her  daughter  and  sororal  polygyny  can  be  inferred  from  allu- 
sions in  the  Jesuitic  literature.  Only  chiefs  and  influential  shamans  seem 
to  have  been  able  to  support  several  wives.  Some  powerful  caciques  are 
said  to  have  had  from  15  to  30  wives.  The  levirate  is  stated  by  Ruiz  de 
Montoya  (1892,  p.  49)  to  have  been  observed  by  chiefs.  Today  residence 
is  patrilocal. 

Deatti. — So  strong  is  the  hope  for  reincarnation  that  a  dying  Apapocuva 
(Nimuendaju,  1914  a,  p.  307)  accepts  death  with  great  fortitude.  He 
sings  medicine  songs  while  women  wail  and  the  shamans  chant,  shaking 
their  rattles  in  farewell  to  the  departing  soul. 

Among  the  ancient  Guarani,  as  soon  as  a  man  had  breathed  his  last, 
his  wives  and  female  relatives  gave  the  most  violent  demonstrations  of 
grief,  often  injuring  themselves  by  flinging  themselves  to  the  ground 
from  some  elevation  (Ruiz  de  Montoya,  1892,  p.  52). 

The  ancient  Guarani  put  their  dead  into  large  chicha  jars  and  covered 
them  with  a  bowl.  These  funeral  urns  were  buried  up  to  the  neck  (Ruiz 
de  Montoya,  1892,  p.  52).*  Modem  Caingud  bury  their  dead  directly  in 
the  ground  with  arms  and  legs  flexed  against  the  body  or  lay  them  with 
their  possessions  in  a  wooden  trough  or  hollowed  tree  trunk. 

Both  ancient  and  some  modern  Guarani  bury  their  dead  in  the  hut, 
which  is  immediately  abandoned.     The  Caingud  of  Paraguay  inter  the 

*  Ruiz  de  Montoya,  1892,  p.  52:  "  ,  .  ,  muchos  enterraban  sus  muertos  en  Unas  grandes 
tinajas,  poniendo  un  plate  en  la  boca  para  que  en  aquella  concavidad  estuviese  mas  acomodada  el 
alma  aunque  estas  tinajas  las  enterraban  hasta  el  cuello." 

88  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

corpse  in  the  bush  and  build  a  miniature  hut  on  the  grave.  They  burn 
the  dead  man's  house  and  sometimes  the  whole  settlement.  For  a  short 
time  they  bring  food  to  the  grave  and  keep  a  fire  burning  upon  it.  Sec- 
ondary interment  is  reported  for  the  Mbyd  chiefs.  A  dead  person's  name 
is  taboo. 

As  among  the  Tupinamba,  visitors  and  members  of  the  community 
were  received  with  tears  and  expressions  of  sorrow.  These  manifesta- 
tions of  grief  took  place  probably  only  if  somebody  in  the  village  had 
died.    (See  Etiquette,  p.  86.) 

According  to  the  Apapocuva,  after  death  a  soul  first  attempts  to  reach 
the  Land-Without-Evil  where  "Our  Mother"  resides,  but  even  if  it 
passes  the  demon  Anay  unscathed,  other  souls  may  detain  it  until  its 
reincarnation.  Those  who  have  suffered  a  violent  death  or  leave  behind 
a  beloved  person  or  have  been  frustrated  and  are  reluctant  to  go  to  the 
hereafter,  are  likely  to  haunt  the  familiar  places  of  life  until  they  are 
expelled  or  are  reincarnated  in  a  newborn  baby.  Children's  souls  are 
the  only  ones  that  can  easily  reach  the  Land- Without-Evil  (Nimuendaju, 
1914  a). 


Cannibalism,  although  never  attributed  to  modern  Caingua,  was  an 
honored  practice  among  the  ancient  Guarani.  Its  ritual  seems  to  have 
been  the  same  as  among  the  Tupinamba  (p.  119).  The  prisoner  was  well 
treated  and  was  given  a  wife ;  but  finally,  after  many  months  and  even 
many  years  of  captivity,  he  was  ceremonially  sacrificed  on  the  village 
plaza.  Like  the  Tupinamba,  the  Guarani  prisoner  pelted  his  tormentors 
with  stones  and  boasted  of  his  great  deeds  and  of  those  of  his  people. 
Children  were  urged  to  crush  the  victim's  skull  with  small  copper  axes 
and  to  dip  their  hands  in  his  blood,  while  they  were  reminded  of  their 
duties  as  future  warriors.  According  to  Ruiz  de  Montoya  (1892,  p.  51), 
everyone  who  touched  the  corpse  with  his  hand  or  with  a  stick  and  every- 
one who  ate  a  morsel  of  it  assumed  a  new  name. 


Art. — Decorative  art  among  the  Caingua  is  limited  to  the  simple  geo- 
metrical patterns  of  basketry  work,  and  to  the  motifs  painted  on  pottery, 
incised  or  burned  on  gourds.  Lozenges  are  one  of  the  favorite  designs; 
anthropomorphic  or  zoomorphic  themes  are  exceptional. 

Games  and  toys. — Small  children  show  certain  skill  at  modeling  men 
or  animals  of  wax,  clay,  or  palm  leaves.  Their  favorite  recreations  are 
wrestling,  racing,  hide-and-seek,  tug-of-war,  shooting,  and  dancing.  The 
toys  mentioned  by  our  sources  are  noise-producing  tops  and  buzzing  disks. 

The  ancient  Itatin,  i.e.,  the  Guarani  north  of  the  Apa  River,  played 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  89 

games  with  rubber  balls.  These  liall  games  were  still  popular  in  some 
Jesuit  missions  until  the  18th  century. 

Today  the  Caingud  play  with  a  maize-leaf  shuttlecock,  which  they 
throw  at  each  other  and  try  to  keep  in  the  air  as  long  as  possible. 

Musical  instruments. — Among  the  ancient  Guarani  and  among  their 
modern  descendants,  the  gourd  rattle  and  the  stamping  tube  are  the 
most  sacred  religious  instruments.  In  the  Apapocuva-Guarani  tribe, 
rattles  are  handled  only  by  men.  Their  "voice,"  i.e.,  their  sound,  is  be- 
lieved to  be  endowed  with  sacred  power.  Shamans  are  capable  of  shaking 
rattles  according  the  most  varied  rhythmic  patterns.  The  stamping  tube 
is  a  bamboo  section  closed  at  one  end,  trimmed  with  feathers,  and  engraved 
with  checkerboard  designs.  It  is  an  instrument  reserved  to  women  who 
pound  it  against  the  ground  to  produce  a  dull  thud  which  marks  the 
cadence  of  their  dances. 

The  flutes  of  the  ancient  Guarani  were  often  made  of  the  long  bones 
of  their  slain  enemies.  There  is  no  information  in  our  sources  about 
their  other  musical  instruments. 

There  are  few  types  of  musical  instruments  among  modern  Caingud. 
The  Pan'  and  Chiripa  have  musical  bows  which  they  play  either  with 
their  fingers  or  with  a  fiddle  bow.  The  transverse  flute  with  six  stops 
and  a  blowhole  was  adopted  by  Mhya  men  in  post-Colum,bian  times.  A 
curious  type  of  panpipe  used  only  by  women  has  been  reported  among 
modern  Caingud.  It  consists  of  five  bamboo  tubes  of  different  sizes  which 
are  not  bound  together,  but  are  simply  held  with  both  hands.  Spanish 
drums  and  guitars  are  now  supplanting  native  musical  instruments. 

Narcotics. — Yerba  mate,  or  "Paraguay  tea,"  though  now  characteristic 
of  Paraguay  and  used  daily  by  the  Guarani,  who  sip  it  through  a  reed 
from  a  small  gourd,  is  scarcely  mentioned  in  the  old  literature.  The 
aboriginal  Guarani  seem  to  have  regarded  it  as  a  magic  herb  taken  only 
by  shamans.  Modern  Caingud  collect  mate  in  the  forest  and  prepare  it 
in  their  villages,  drying  the  leaves  for  a  whole  night  on  a  platform  over 
a  fire. 

Tobacco  was  smoked  in  the  form  of  cigars  or  in  pipes.  Clay  pipes 
have  been  found  archeologically,  and  the  Caingud  still  used  them  not 
long  ago.  Like  some  Chiriguano  pipes,  those  of  the  Caingud  had  their 
bowls  ornamented  with  a  sort  of  crest. 

Like  the  Tupinamba  and  other  Brazilian  tribes,  the  Guarani  celebrated 
all  the  main  events  of  life  with  drinking  bouts  :  The  return  of  a  successful 
hunting  or  fishing  expedition,  harvest,  and  the  execution  of  a  prisoner. 
Their  favorite  beverage  (kaguiai)  was  prepared  mainly  with  maize  but 
also  with  sweet  potatoes  and  more  rarely  with  manioc.  Fermentation  was 
activated  by  the  addition  of  chewed  corn  or  leaves  of  caa-tory  {Physurus 
sp.).     Modern  Caingud  prepare  mead,  which  may  be  quite  strong. 

90  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  tB.A,B.  Bull.  143 


The  great  personages  of  Apapocuva-Guarani  mythology  deserve  the 
title  of  gods  though  they  remain  aloof  from  the  affairs  of  this  world. 
Creators  and  Transformers,  they  continue  to  exist  and  men  yearn  to  live 
in  their  company.  Some  day  they  will  destroy  the  world  which  they  have 
created  and  shaped.  The  most  majestic  deity  is  the  Creator,  HanderuvuQU, 
Our  Great  Father,  who  now  resides  in  a  dark  region  which  he  lights  with 
the  glimmer  of  his  chest.  His  wife,  who  was  also  the  first  woman,  Ran- 
de^y,  Our  Mother,  has  her  abode  in  the  west  in  the  Land-Without-Evil. 
According  to  Vellard  (1939  a,  p.  169),  the  main  deity  of  the  Mbyd  is 
Namandu  who  lives  in  the  east  and  gives  life  to  the  world.  Tupa  is  the 
deity  of  the  west.  The  north  belongs  to  Yahira,  the  god  of  vengeance  and 
death.  Vellard  (1939  a,  p.  171)  quotes  prayers  to  Ramandu  in  which  he 
is  asked  for  game  or  for  good  health,  but  there  is  no  evidence  of  a  cult 
of  the  Creator  among  the  Apapocuva. 

The  Pan'  and  Mbyd,  who  in  the  past  have  certainly  been  subject  to 
Jesuit  influences,  recognize  Tupa  as  the  Creator  and  High  God.  Among 
the  Apapocuva,  whose  ancient  traditions  seem  unimpaired,  Tupa,  son  of 
Nande^y,  is  a  secondary  nature  deity,  the  personification  of  the  thunder. 
He  is  a  short  man,  with  woolly  hair,  who  causes  a  storm  every  time  he 
crosses  the  skies  in  his  wooden  trough  in  the  company  of  Thunder  Birds. 
The  original  nature  of  this  secondary  god,  promoted  to  an  exalted  position 
among  acculturated  Guarani,  is  still  present  in  the  memory  of  his  worship- 
pers, who  refer  to  him  as  "The  Great  Thunder,"  "The  Great  Noise,"  or 
"Master  of  Thunder."  Under  him,  minor  Tupa  are  respectively  lords  of 
the  rain,  hailstorm,  lig'hting,  and  thunder  (Pan').  A  stock  of  traditional 
prayers  which  these  Indians  address  to  their  God  whenever  in  need  of 
help  betrays  Christian  influences. 

Certain  rites  observed  by  the  Apapocuva  and  even  by  the  ancient  Guarani 
can  be  interpreted  only  as  worship  of  the  sun,  whom  the  Apapocuva  call 
"Our  Father."    Sun  is  given  as  the  Son  of  Our  Great  Father  or  of  Tupa. 

Animism. — ^According  to  the  Apapocuva,  two  souls  coexist  in  every 
man.  One,  called  ayvucue,  comes  from  the  mansion  of  some  deity  in  the 
west,  zenith,  or  east,  and  enters  the  body  immediately  after  birth.  This 
soul  is  identified  with  a  peaceful  disposition,  gentleness,  and  a  craving  for 
vegetables ;  but  the  temperament  of  a  person  is  conditioned  by  the  animal 
soul  (acyigua),  which  he  harbors  in  the  nape  of  his  neck.  Patient  and 
friendly  people  may  have  a  butterfly  soul ;  whereas  a  jaguar  soul  makes  a 
man  cruel  and  brutal.  Unrest,  violence,  malice,  and  lust  for  meat  are 
generally  ascribed  to  the  acyigua. 

Dreams  are  experiences  of  the  soul  and  are  paid  great  attention, 
especially  by  shamans,  who  derive  their  supernatural  knowledge  and  power 
from  them. 


Plate  11. — Fingernail-marked  Guarani  ware.  Top:  Sherds  from  Martin 
Garcia,  Argentina.  Center:  Vessels  from  Arroyo  Malo,  Parand  Delta.  Bottom: 
Vessels  from  Paraguay.  Funerary  urn  at  left.  {Top,  after  Bruzzone,  1931; 
center,  after  Lothrop,  1932;  bottom,  courtesy  Max  Schmidt.) 


Plate   12. — Guarani  and  other  pottery  from  Paraguay,     a,  b,  Painted;  c,  plain; 
d,    e,    probably    Mbayd-Guana    incised    ware.     (Courtesy    Max    Schmidt.) 

Vol,  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  91 

After  death  the  two  souls  separate ;  the  ayvucue  generally  tries  to  reach 
the  Land-Without-Evil,  but  may  linger  dangerously  near  his  former 
home.  The  animal  soul,  too,  is  likely  to  turn  into  a  fearful  ghost.  To 
drive  the  ayvucue  away,  the  shamans  organize  a  dance  in  which  two 
opposite  groups  of  dancers,  by  running  to  and  fro  and  passing  each  other 
at  full  speed,  so  confuse  the  soul  that  it  is  lost  in  a  maze.  The  shaman 
then  is  able  to  deliver  it  to  Tupa,  who  takes  it  to  the  Land  of  the  Dead. 
The  animal  soul  has  to  be  attacked  with  weapons  and  exterminated  like 
a  dangerous  animal  (Nimuendaju,  1914  a,  p.  305) . 

The  Caingud  feel  themselves  surrounded  by  spirits  or  demons,  who 
appear  in  human  or  animal  forms.  They  are  the  masters  or  the  protectors 
of  animals,  plants,  trees,  water  places,  and  winds.  These  genii,  if  oflfended, 
can  be  harmful. 

Ceremonials. — Among  the  Apapocuva-Guarani,  any  trouble,  any  anx- 
iety felt  by  the  community  or  the  shaman,  or  even  the  prospect  of  a  collec- 
tive enterprise  stimulates  a  ceremonial  dance.  The  performers  stand  in  a 
line,  the  women  on  one  end,  jumping  up  and  down  on  the  same  spot  and 
pounding  their  stamping  tubes;  the  men  on  the  other  end,  shaking  their 
rattles,  slightly  stooping,  knees  bent,  throwing  their  feet  forward  and 
backward  in  a  rapid  tempo.  The  shaman  faces  the  dancers  and  walks, 
runs,  or  bounces  in  front  of  them  brandishing  his  rattle.  Each  woman  in 
turn  performs  a  solo  dance  in  front  of  the  line  of  the  men,  and  sometimes 
she  may  invite  a  man  to  dance  opposite  her  (Nimuendaju,  1914  a,  p.  347). 

Great  emphasis  is  placed  on  orientation;  the  dancers  always  face  the 
east  and,  when  the  entire  line  revolves,  it  invariably  moves  north,  west, 
and  south,  describing  a  perfect  ellipse.  Dancers  often  hold  ceremonial 
clubs,  trimmed  with  basketry  sheaths.  The  shaman  carries  a  ritual  stick. 
Dances  take  place  in  special  fence-enclosed  huts,  which  open  toward  the 
east  and  serve  as  storehouses  for  the  ritual  paraphernalia. 

The  most  important  Apapocuva  ceremony  is  celebrated  by  the  whole 
tribe  just  before  harvest.  Cultivated  plants,  wild  fruits,  and  game  are 
exhibited  near  candles  and,  after  4  days  of  ritual  dancing,  are  sprinkled 
with  holy  water.  The  assistants  at  the  ritual  are  also  baptized  on  the  same 
occasion.  The  object  of  the  festivities,  which  are  characterized  by  a  spirit 
of  harmony  and  pleasant  cheerfulness,  is  to  guard  men  and  food  from  evil 
influences.  The  Caingud  offer  cakes  made  with  the  first  ripe  maize  to 


No  amount  of  training  can  make  an  Apapocuva-Guarani  a  shaman  if  he 
has  not  been  supernaturally  inspired  with  magic  chants.  To  every  adult 
male  or  female  sooner  or  later  a  dead  relative  reveals  a  chant,  which  the 
recipient  eagerly  teaches  to  the  rest  of  the  community.  Its  possession 
confers  a  certain  immunity  against  accidents.    A  shaman  is  a  man  who 


92  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

owns  a  great  many  magic  chants,  which  he  uses  for  the  common  good  of 
his  people.  He  must  also  be  capable  of  leading  a  ceremonial  dance,  of 
playing  the  rattle  gourd  in  the  different  modes,  and  of  performing  the 
rites  befitting  certain  circumstances.  The  main  test  of  his  skill  is  offered 
by  the  harvest  dance,  which  can  be  successfully  organized  only  by  full- 
fledged  shamans.  By  his  "voltes"  and  jumps,  the  shaman  endeavors  to 
make  his  body  "light."  He  must  also  have  frequent  dreams,  because  they 
give  him  superior  knowledge  and  insight  into  the  future. 

The  ancient  Guarani  and  even  many  modern  groups  assign  disease  to 
the  intrusion  of  an  object  into  the  body.  The  Apapocuva  visualize  the 
source  of  the  illness  as  an  invisible  substance  that  the  shaman  sees  after 
he  has  chanted  for  several  hours.  The  treatment's  aim  is  to  extract  that 
substance  and  to  endow  the  patient  with  magic  power. 

Legends  and  historical  traditions  both  attest  the  extraordinary  prestige 
enjoyed  by  some  shamans  of  old  who  were  leaders  of  their  tribes.  After 
receiving  their  inspiration,  these  great  men  retired  into  the  wilderness, 
where  they  lived  on  celestial  food.  By  constant  dancing  some  Apapocuva- 
Guarani  shamans  gradually  subjugated  their  animal  soul,  strengthening 
their  ayvucue,  or  peaceful  soul,  until  they  could  fly  toward  the  heavenly 
Land- Without-Evil. 

Among  ancient  Guarani  great  medicine  men  worked  miracles  by  their 
chants.  With  their  saliva  they  caused  death.  They  were  strong  enough 
to  drag  a  whole  tribe  across  a  large  river.  They  claimed  absolute  control 
of  all  natural  phenomena,  including  stars.  After  their  death,  their  bones, 
kept  as  relics  in  luxurious  hammocks  hung  in  special  huts,  were  worshiped 
and  consulted  as  oracles.  Ordinary  shamans  added  to  their  prestige  by 
sleight  of  hand. 

Shamans  are  not  only  responsible  for  the  religious  life,  but  also  inter- 
fere in  the  administration  of  justice.  Whenever  a  succession  of  misfor- 
tunes is  imputed  to  witchcraft,  the  shaman  unmasks  the  sorcerer,  who  is 
savagely  killed.  The  shamans'  political  power  derives,  naturally,  from 
their  prestige  and  from  the  fear  which  they  inspire.  Usually,  witchcraft 
is  blamed  on  a  neighboring  tribe.  Sorcerers  kill  their  victims  by  practic- 
ing witchcraft  on  their  exuviae. 


The  high-sounding  names  of  the  main  characters  in  the  Apapocuva- 
Guarani  mythology  tinge  it  with  a  solemnity  quite  foreign  to  the  versions 
of  the  same  motifs  collected  elsewhere. 

The  story  of  the  creation  is  told  in  impressive  terms.  At  the  beginning 
there  was  darkness,  and  the  Eternal  Bats  fought  in  the  night.  Our  Great 
Father  found  himself  and  created  the  earth,  which  he  propped  on  the 
Eternal  Cross.  With  him  was  a  companion,  Our-Father-Who-Knows- 
Everything,     Our  Great  Father  made  a  woman.  Our  Mother,  whom  he 

Vol.  3]  THE  GUARANI— METRAUX  93 

generously  shared  with  his  subordinate.  Our  Mother  conceived  the 
Twins,  Our  Elder  Brother,  and  Our  Younger  Brother,  the  former  by  the 
Creator  and  the  latter,  who  was  weak  and  stupid,  by  the  Creator's  com- 
panion. From  that  point  the  Apapocuva  version  follows  more  or  less 
the  Tupinamha  sequence  of  motifs.  The  mother  is  killed  by  the  Jaguars, 
on  which  the  Twins  later  take  their  revenge.  Our  Great  Father's  Son 
manifests  his  superiority  by  always  taking  the  initiative  in  any  adventure 
and  by  repairing  the  blunders  of  his  younger  brother.  The  Twins  are 
secondary  culture  heroes  who  complete  the  work  of  the  Creator.  Our 
Elder  Brother  steals  fire  from  the  vultures  on  behalf  of  mankind  and 
teaches  the  medicine  dances  to  the  Anan,  who  in  turn  train  the  men.  Our 
Elder  Brother  still  resides  in  the  zenith  taking  care  of  mankind  in  a  very 
indefinite  way.  He  will  participate  in  the  final  destruction  of  the  world 
by  removing  one  of  the  props  on  which  it  lies. 

In  a  Pah'  myth,  fire  is  acquired  by  the  Celestial  Rhea. 

The  Anan  demons,  who  are  the  constant  victims  of  the  practical  jokes 
played  by  the  Twins,  are  purely  folkloric  characters,  with  the  exception  of 
a  single  Anan  who  devours  the  souls  of  the  dead  when  they  pass  by  his 

The  Are  have  a  myth  about  a  flood  (Borba,  1904,  pp.  61-64)  from 
which  a  single  man  escaped  by  climbing  on  top  of  a  palm  tree.  The  sapa- 
curu  birds  created  land  again  by  dropping  piles  of  earth  into  the  water. 
The  man  was  taken  on  a  raft  to  a  place  where  many  women  were  bathing. 
He  took  a  woman  for  himself,  and  their  descendants  are  the  Are. 

Cosmology. — The  Sun,  as  a  deity,  is  called  Our  Father  and  is  distin- 
guished from  the  material  light  and  heat  which  he  produces.  Sun  and 
Moon  are  sons  of  the  Creator ;  the  Moon  was  smeared  with  genipa  when 
he  had  homosexual  relations  with  his  brother. 

Eclipses  are  caused  by  the  Eternal  Bat — according  to  the  ancient 
Guarani,  by  the  Celestial  Jaguar — which  gnaws  the  Sun  or  the  Moon. 
The  Apapocuva  have  a  very  pessimistic  outlook  on  the  future  of  the 
world ;  they  are  firmly  convinced  that  its  end  is  near.  Very  soon  Our 
Great  Father  will  set  the  earth  on  fire,  unleashing  the  Eternal  Bat  and 
the  Blue  Jaguar  which  will  destroy  the  stars  and  mankind. 

The  Pan  identify  the  Milky  Way  with  the  Celestial  Rhea;  when  the 
bird  will  have  finished  eating  two  heaps  of  food  (Magellanic  Clouds) 
it  will  devour  mankind  (Lehmann-Nitsche,  1936-37). 


From  the  period  of  European  Conquest  to  the  present  day,  the  Guarani 
have  been  periodically  stirred  up  by  religious  crises  similar  to  messianic 
revivals  in  other  parts  of  the  world.  Either  a  prophet  would  start  a 
religious  and  political  evolution  by  announcing  the  end  of  Spanish  rule 

94  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

and  the  approach  of  a  new  golden  age ;  or  else  some  tribe  would  leave  its 
territory  in  quest  of  the  Land- Without-Evil.  According  to  missionary 
accounts,  shamans  often  represented  themselves  as  the  Lords  of  the 
Universe  and  preached  a  holy  war  against  the  intruders.  These  messiahs 
performed  rites  and  expressed  ideas  that,  like  the  redeemer  concept,  in- 
cluded many  borrowings  from  Christianity. 

During  the  last  century,  three  Guarani  groups,  the  Apapocuva,  the 
Tanygud,  and  the  Oguauiva,  fearing  an  imminent  destruction  of  the  world 
announced  by  their  shamans,  desperately  attempted  to  reach  the  Land- 
Without-Evil,  where  there  is  abundance  of  all  good  things  and  eternal 
life.  Since  most  authorities  located  the  paradise  somewhere  in  the  east, 
beyond  the  sea,  these  migrations  were  directed  toward  the  Atlantic  Coast. 
In  1910,  a  group  of  Apapocuva  sought  to  lose  weight  through  dancing, 
so  as  to  fly  over  the  ocean. 

This  great  hope,  which  has  so  deeply  influenced  the  destiny  of  these 
Indians,  is  based  on  a  myth  which  describes  the  first  destruction  of  the 
universe  by  fire  and  water.  A  shaman  forced  his  people  to  dance  day  and 
night  so  as  to  open  the  way  to  the  heavenly  country.  Modern  Guarani 
often  tried  to  emulate  this  act,  irrespective  of  repeated  failures,  which 
they  blamed  on  ritual  mistakes  or  on  the  use  of  foreign  foods.  The  leaders 
of  these  movements  were  always  famous  shamans  surrounded  by  an  aura 
of  mystery. 


Ambrosetti,  1895  a,  1895  b,  1896;  Azara,  1809,  1904;  Baldus,  1929;  Bertoni,  1920, 
1922;  Blanco,  1931;  Bode,  1918;  Borba,  1904;  Cardiel,  1900;  Cartas  Anuas,  1927-29; 
Charlevoix,  1757;  Comentarios  de  Alvar  Nunez  Cabeza  de  Vaca  (see  Pedro  Her- 
nandez, 1852);  Dobrizhoffer,  1784;  Fishbach,  1929;  Hernandez,  Pedro,  1852;  Her- 
nandez, Pablo,  1913;  Ihering,  1895,  1904,  1906;  Jarque,  1900;  Koenigswald,  Von, 
1908;  Kunert,  1890,  1891,  1892;  Kunike,  1911;  Lehmann-Nitsche,  1936-37;  Linn6, 
1936 ;  Lothrop,  1932 ;  Loukotka,  1929 ;  Lozano,  1873-75 ;  Mayntzhusen,  1912 ;  Medina, 
J.  T.,  1908;  Metraux,  1927,  1928  a,  1928  b,  1932;  Meyer,  1896;  Moreno,  1926;  Miiller, 
1934-35;  Muratori,  1754;  Netto,  1885;  Nimuendaju,  1914  a;  Outes,  1917,  1918; 
Ramirez  in  J.  T.  Medina,  1908  (also  Ramirez,  Luis,  1888)  ;  Rengger,  1835;  Ruiz  de 
Montoya,  1876  (1640),  1892;  Schmidel,  1903;  Schmidt,  M.,  1932;  Serrano,  1936; 
Strelnikov,  1928;  Techo,  1673,  1897;  Torres,  L.  M.,  1913;  Ullrich,  1906;  Vellard, 
1934,  1937,  1939  a;  Vogt,  1904. 


By  Alfred  Metraux 


Tupinamba. — This  name  is  applied  here  to  all  the  Indians  speaking  a 
Tupi-Guarani  dialect,  who  in  the  16th  century  were  masters  of  the  Bra- 
zilian shore  from  the  mouth  of  the  Amazon  River  to  Cananea,  in  the 
south  of  the  State  of  Sao  Paulo  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  see  Volume  1,  map  7). 
Though  linguistically  and  culturally  closely  related,  these  Indians  were 
divided  into  a  great  many  tribes  that  waged  merciless  war  against  one 
another.  Most  of  these  groups  were  given  different  names  by  the  Por- 
tuguese and  French  colonists,  but  the  term  Tupinamba  was  applied  to 
the  tribes  of  such  widely  separated  regions  as  Rio  de  Janeiro,  Bahia,  and 
Maranhao.  Because  these  are  the  best-known  tribes,  we  shall,  for  con- 
venience, apply  to  all  of  them  the  term  Tupinamba;  we  shall,  however, 
carefully  distinguish  each  subdivision  when  defining  its  geographical 

Coastal  tribes. — From  north  to  south  we  have : 

Tupinamba. — Occupying,  along  with  small  infiltrations  of  Teremembe 
(Handbook,  vol.  1,  p.  573),  the  whole  coast  between  the  Parnahyba 
(Parnaiba)  and  the  Para  Rivers  at  the  end  of  the  16th  century  (lat.  l''-4° 
S.,  long.  42°-48°  W.).  Approximately  12,000  lived  on  the  Island  of 
Maranhao  in  27  villages.  In  three  other  districts,  Tapuytapera,  Comma, 
and  Caite,  there  were  about  35  villages,  with  a  total  population  of  approxi- 
mately 27,000.  There  were  also  numerous  villages  along  the  Pindare, 
Mearim,  and  Itapecuru  Rivers.  On  the  Para  River  their  last  villages  were 
far  upstream,  near  the  Jacunda  and  Pacaja  Rivers. 

Potiguara  (Potivara,  Cannibals,  Cannibaliers). — ^A  large  tribe  on  the 
coast  between  the  Parnahyba  (Parnaiba)  and  Paraiba  (Parahyba) 
Rivers.  On  the  mainland,  they  reached  the  Serra  de  Copaoba  and  the 
Serra  da  Ibiapaba.    (Lat.  5°-8°  S.,  long.  36°-38°  W.) 

At  the  end  of  the  16th  century,  the  Potigunra  were  expelled  from  the 
region  of  the  Parahyba  by  the  Portuguese  allied  to  the  Tabajara,  but  many 
villages  of  Ceara  accepted  the  Portuguese  rule.  Cruelly  treated  by  Pero 
Coelho  in  1603,  they  banded  with  the  Dutch  and  waged  war  against  the 
Portuguese  until  1654.  At  that  time,  the  survivors  of  the  tribe  who  had 
not  fled  into  the  bush  were  placed  in  missions  by  the  Jesuits.  The  Poti- 
guara, in  spite  of  their  former  alliance  with  the  French  and  the  Dutch, 
became  loyal  allies  of  the  Portuguese,  whom  they  accompanied  in  many 


96  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

expeditions.  They  were  rewarded  by  grants  of  lands.  Their  names  disap- 
pear in  the  18th  century  (Studart  Filho,  1931,  pp.  91-99). 

Caete  (Caite). — On  the  Atlantic  shore  between  the  Paraiba  and  the 
Sao  Francisco  Rivers  (lat.  8°-ir  S.,  long.  36°  W.). 

Tupinamba. — On  the  Atlantic  shore  from  the  Sao  Francisco  River  to 
Camamu,  in  the  south  (lat.  11°-15°  S.,  long.  37°-39°  W.). 

Tupinikin  (Tupiniguin,  Mar  gay  a,  Tuaya). — Occupying  only  a  narrow 
strip  of  the  coast  from  Camamu  to  the  Sao  Mateus  (Cricare)  River,  per- 
haps reaching  Espirito  Santo  in  the  south  (lat.  16°-21°  S.,  long.  39"- 
40°  W.). 

Timimino  (Tomomyno). — In  the  south  of  the  State  of  Espirito  Santo 
and  on  the  lower  course  and  islands  of  the  Paraiba  River  (lat.  22°  S., 
long.  41°  W.).  The  Timimino  were  constantly  at  war  with  the  Tupinamba 
of  Rio  de  Janeiro. 

Tupinamba  (Tamoyo). — Masters  of  the  coast  from  Cabo  de  Sao  Tome 
to  the  Bay  of  Angra  dos  Reis  and  even  perhaps  to  CairoQu  Point  (lat. 
23°-24°  S.,  long.  42°-45°  W.).  Their  inland  limits  are  unknown,  but  it 
is  likely  that  they  had  villages  on  the  upper  Parahyba  River. 

Ararape. — This  name  is  given  by  Cardim  to  the  Tupinamba  of  the 
hinterland  of  Rio  de  Janeiro. 

Tupinakin  (Tupiniguin,  Tupi,  Tabayara). — These  southern  neighbors 
and  bitter  enemies  of  the  Tupinamba  of  Rio  de  Janeiro  were  the  early 
inhabitants  of  the  modern  State  of  Sao  Paulo.  They  were  on  the  coast 
from  Angra  dos  Reis  to  Cananea.  They  had  villages  on  the  Serra 
Paranapiacaba  and  in  the  vast  region  between  the  modern  city  of  Sao 
Paulo  and  the  Tiete  River.  (Lat.  24°-26°  S.,  long.  45°-48°  W.)  Some 
groups  probably  lived  near  long.  50°  W. 

Inland  tribes. — The  following  tribes  lived  in  the  sertao,  i.e.,  the  region 
inland  from  the  Brazilian  coast : 

The  name  Tobayara  is  without  any  doubt  a  derogatory  term  meaning 
enemy.  Because  it  was  given  by  many  Tupi  tribes  to  their  hostile  neigh- 
bors, and  because  different  tribes  appear  in  the  literature  under  the  same 
name,  there  is  much  confusion.  Tobayara  has  been  applied  to:  (1)  the 
TM/>f-speaking  Indians  east  of  the  Mearim  River,  State  of  Maranhao; 
(2)  the  Indians  of  the  Serra  da  Ibiapaba;  (3)  the  TM/»f-speaking  Indians 
living  west  of  the  Potiguara  tribe ;  (4)  the  Tupi  Indians  of  the  Pernam- 
buco  region;  (5)  the  first  Tupi  invaders  of  Bahia;  (6)  Indians  in 
the  State  of  Espirito  Santo;  (7)  the  Tupinakin  of  the  State  of  Sao 
Paulo.  All  seven  of  these  Indian  groups  lived  inland  and  were  called 
Tobayara  by  the  Tupinamba  of  the  coast.  Because  most  of  these  Tobay- 
ara are  also  known  under  other  names,  we  shall  restrict  Tobayara  to  the 
Tw/'i-speaking  Indians  of  Maranhao  (lat.  4°  S.,  long.  42°  W.). 

Tabayara  {Tobajara,  Miari  engilare,  Miarigois). — Their  native  terri- 
tory was  the  Serra  Grande  of  Ceara  (Serra  da  Ibiapaba),  where  they 


extended  to  Camocim.  Attacked  by  Pedro  Coelho  at  the  beginning  of 
the  17th  century,  the  inhabitants  of  70  of  their  villages  migrated  to  the 
region  of  Maranhao.  They  settled  on  the  upper  Mearim  River,  where 
they  were  known  to  the  French  as  "Indians  of  the  Mearim"  (Miarigois) . 
The  emigrants  disappeared  as  a  result  of  their  wars  against  the  French 
and  the  "Tapuya"  and  of  smallpox  epidemics.  In  1637,  the  Tabayara 
allied  themselves  to  the  Dutch  to  wage  war  against  the  Portuguese  of 
Maranhao.  Their  Christianization  was  undertaken  about  1656,  but  was 
soon  interrupted  by  a  rebellion  which  lasted  until  1673.  Then  again  the 
Jesuits  established  missions  among  them.  Their  name  appears  in  ofificial 
documents  until  1720. 

Tupina  (Tohayara,  Tupiguae). — Scattered  in  the  woods  from  north  of 
the  Sao  Francisco  River  to  the  Camamu  River  in  the  south  (lat.  11°-15° 
S.,  long.  37°-42°  W.).  Their  eastern  neighbors  were  the  Caete,  the 
Tupinamha,  and  the  Tupinikin. 

Amoipira. — A  detached  branch  of  the  Tupinamha,  living  in  the  hinter- 
land of  Bahia  on  the  left  side  of  the  Sao  Francisco  River  (lat.  7°-14°  S., 
long.  39°-43°  W.). 

Tupinamha  tribes  that  are  mentioned  in  the  literature  but  cannot  be 
localized  exactly  are:  The  Viatan,  formerly  living  in  the  region  of  Pern- 
ambuco  but  exterminated  by  the  Potiguara  and  the  Portuguese ;  the  Apiga- 
pigtanga;  the  Muriapigtanga  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Tupina;  the  Guaracaio 
or  Itati,  enemies  of  the  Tupinikin;  the  Arahoyara,  and  the  Rariguora, 
whose  names  only  are  known. 


The  various  descriptions  of  the  Tupinamha  culture,  though  concerned 
with  Indians  as  widely  apart  as  those  of  the  Maranhao  region  and  of 
Rio  de  Janeiro,  harmonize  in  the  smallest  details.  Such  uniformity  among 
groups  scattered  over  an  enormous  area  suggests  a  comparatively  recent 
separation.  This  view  is  fully  supported  by  historical  traditions  and 
events  that  occurred  after  European  colonization.  The  Tupi  tribes  seem 
to  have  dispersed  from  a  common  center  at  a  relatively  recent  date. 
Their  migrations  ended  only  in  the  second  half  of  the  16th  century.  The 
earlier  inhabitants  of  the  Brazilian  coast  from  the  Amazon  River  to  the 
Rio  de  la  Plata  were  a  great  many  tribes  ambiguously  called  "Tapuya" 
by  the  Tupinamha  and  the  Portuguese.  At  the  time  of  the  discovery  of 
Brazil  they  had  been  pushed  into  the  woods  but  still  remained  near  the 
coast  waging  war  against  the  Tupinamha  invaders,  whose  intrusion  was 
so  recent  that  they  had  not  had  time  to  exterminate  or  assimilate  the 
former  masters  of  the  coastal  region.  Many  "Tapuya^'  had  remained 
in  possession  of  the  shore,  forming  ethnic  islands  among  the  TM/^f-speak- 
ing  tribes  (Handbook,  vol.  1,  pp.  553-556;  map  1,  No.  18;  map  7).  The 
Terememhe  wandered  along  the  coast  of  Maranhao.     The  Waitaka  of 

98  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Espirito  Santo  and  the  Wayana  (Goyana)  of  Sao  Paulo  are  listed  among 
the  Coastal  Indians  by  our  sources.  Tupinamba  tradition  held  that  the 
non-Tw/'f-speaking  Quirigma  were  the  first  inhabitants  of  Bahia,  and  that 
the  Aenaguig  preceded  the  Tupinikin  in  their  habitat.  The  Maraca  of  the 
hinterland  of  Bahia  were  an  enclave  among  Tupinamba  tribes. 

The  only  invasions  historically  recorded  are  those  which  took  place  in 
the  regions  of  Bahia,  Pernambuco,  Maranhao,  and  Para.  The  first  migra- 
tion of  the  Tupinamba  (in  a  wider  sense)  to  the  coast  is  that  of  the 
Tupina  (known  also  as  Tobayara) .  They  drove  the  "Tapnya"  from  the 
seashore,  but  later  were  forced  to  relinquish  their  conquests  to  the  Tupi- 
namba proper  and  settled  in  the  hinterland.  A  branch  of  the  Tupinamba 
that  had  been  warring  against  the  "Tapuya"  did  not  reach  the  coast  in  time 
and  remained  on  the  Sao  Francisco  River,  where  they  were  known  as 
Amoipira.  The  Tupinikin  of  Porto  Seguro  migrated  from  the  north  and 
may  have  been  the  southern  wing  of  the  same  Tupinamba  invasion. 

The  region  of  Maranhao  was  settled  in  the  second  half  of  the  16th 
century  by  Tupinamba  from  Pernambuco,  where  they  had  been  defeated 
and  driven  back  by  the  Portuguese  colonists. 

Several  typical  messianic  outbursts  took  place  in  the  second  part  of  the 
16th  century  when  the  various  Tupinamba  tribes  were  forced  to  yield 
ground  to  the  Portuguese  and  were  being  either  wholly  outrooted  or 
enslaved.  Here,  as  elsewhere  in  the  New  World,  these  crises  were 
prompted  by  shamans  or  prophets  who  announced  the  return  of  the  mythi- 
cal ages  and  the  disappearance  of  the  white  scourge.  Following  a  deeply 
engrained  tradition  among  the  Tupi  tribes,  these  prophets  exhorted  them 
to  depart  for  the  "land-of-immortality"  where  the  Culture  hero  had  retired 
after  his  earthly  adventure.  In  1605,  a  party  of  Tupinamba  led  by  a 
prophet,  whom  they  worshiped  as  a  deity,  left  the  region  of  Pernambuco 
to  invade  the  territory  of  Maranhao,  which  then  was  held  by  the  French. 
The  invaders  were  defeated  by  the  Portiguara  and  the  French  at  the  Serra 
da  Ibiapaba.  Earlier,  a  group  of  Potiguara  also  set  out  on  a  journey  to 
look  for  the  Earthly  Paradise,  at  the  prompting  of  a  shaman  who  pretended 
to  be  a  resurrected  ancestor. 

About  1540,  several  thousands  of  Tupinamba  left  the  coast  of  Brazil 
in  quest  of  the  "land-of-immortality-and-perpetual-rest"  and,  in  1549, 
arrived  at  Chachapoyas  in  Peru.  As  they  mentioned  having  passed  through 
a  region  where  gold  was  abundant,  their  reports  induced  the  Spaniards 
to  organize  several  expeditions  to  discover  El  Dorado  (Metraux,  1927). 

The  Tupinambarana,  discovered  by  Acuiia  (1891)  on  the  Amazonian 
island  that  bears  their  name,  were  also  Tupinamba  of  Pernambuco  who 
had  deserted  their  home  country  to  escape  Portuguese  tyranny.  They 
traveled  up  the  Amazon  River,  thence  up  the  Madeira  River,  finally  coming 
in  contact  with  Spanish  settlements  in  eastern  Bolivia.  Vexed  by  the 
Spanish  colonists,  they  returned  down  the  Madeira  River  to  its  mouth 


and  settled  the  island  of  Tupinambarana.  In  1690  they  seem  to  have  been 
on  the  decline,  for  the  Guayarise  had  moved  into  their  territory  (Fritz, 
1922,  p.  72). 



Farming. — The  Tiipinamha  drew  a  large  part  of  their  subsistence  from 
farming.  Manioc,  especially  the  poisonous  variety,  was  their  staple ;  second 
in  importance  was  maize,  five  varieties  of  which  were  cultivated,  one  of 
them  being  particularly  useful  to  travelers  because  it  remained  tender  for 
a  long  period. 

Other  crops  listed  in  early  sources  are:  Cara  {Dioscorea  sp.),  mangara 
{Xanthosoma  majaffa),  taia  (taioba,  Xanthosoma  sp.),^  sweet  potatoes, 
lima  beans,  kidney  beans,  pumpkins  (Cucurbita  moschata) ,  peanuts,  pine- 
apples, and  pepper.  Bananas  were  grown  on  a  large  scale  soon  after  the 
discovery  of  Brazil.  Sugarcane  and  sorghum  {Sorghum  vulgare)  were 
also  eagerly  adopted  from  the  first  White  colonists.  Several  trees,  such 
as  cashews  and  papayas,  may  have  been  cultivated  in  the  fields  and  near 
the  huts. 

The  Tupinamba  grew  several  nonfood  plants :  gourds,  calabash  trees, 
tobacco,  cotton,  urucu,  and  probably  genipa. 

The  Tupinamba  cleared  farm  land  in  the  forests  near  their  villages, 
felling  the  trees  with  stone  axes  and  burning  them  a  few  months  later. 
The  ashes  served  as  fertilizer.  Women  did  all  planting  and  harvesting. 
At  the  beginning  of  the  dry  season,  they  set  out  manioc  cuttings  and 
sliced  tubers,  and  planted  maize  and  beans  in  holes  made  with  pointed 
sticks.  They  did  no  other  work  except  some  occasional  weeding.  They 
allowed  bean  vines  to  climb  on  charred  tree  trunks  but  sometimes  added 
sticks  as  auxiliary  props.  To  increase  the  cotton  yield,  they  thinned  the 
trees  twice  a  year.  Only  the  women  who  had  planted  peanuts  might 
harvest  them,  a  task  which  entailed  special  ceremonies. 

Collecting  wild  foods. — The  Tupinamba  supplemented  their  diet  with 
many  wild  fruits  and  nuts,  such  as  jucara,  mangaba  (Hancornia  speciosd), 
cashew  (Anacardium  occidentale) ,  sapucaia  {Lecythis  ollaria),  araqa 
orguave  (Psidium  variabile),  mocujes  (Couma  rigida),  araticus  {Rollinia 
exalbida),  hoyriti  (Diplothemium  maritimum),  jaboticaba  {Myrciaria 
cauliflora),  acaja  {Spondias  purpurea),  pindo  palm  (Orbignya  speciosa), 
and  aricuri  {Cocos  coronata),  etc.  The  Tupinamba  discovered  the  watery, 
edible  roots  of  the  imbii  tree  (Spondias  tuberosa)  by  the  sound  made  when 
striking  the  ground  with  a  stick.  Like  the  Chaco  Indians,  they  ate  the 
fruits  and  roots  of  caraguata  {Bromelia  sp.). 

The  Tupinamba  were  fond  of  the  igas,  or  tanajuras  ant,  with  a  fat 
abdomen,  which  they  roasted  and  ate.     Women  lured  these  ants  from 

1  There   is,   however,    apparently  some  confusion  between  mangara    {Xanthosoma  mafaffa)    and 


100  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

their  recesses  with  magic  spells.  They  also  collected  hundreds  of  guara 
(Eudocimus  ruber)  eggs  and  roasted  them  on  babracots  in  order  to  keep 
them  as  a  food  reserve.  These  tribes  eagerly  sought  honey,  not  only  for 
its  food  value  but  because  the  wax  was  important  in  their  industries.  They 
gathered  quantities  of  oysters  {Ostrea  rhisophorae),  which  occur  abund- 
antly along  the  coast  where  they  cling  to  the  roots  of  mangrove  trees. 
Many  people  relied  even  more  on  sea  food  than  on  game.  Whole  villages 
went  to  the  seashore  during  certain  months  to  gather  oysters,  which  they 
ate  or  preserved  by  smoking  them  on  babracots.  Many  of  the  sambaquis 
(shell  mounds)  of  the  Atlantic  Coast  (see  vol.  1,  p.  401)  are  formed  of 
Tupinamba  kitchen  refuse. 

Hunting. — The  chase  was  a  major  masculine  occupation ;  Indians  wish- 
ing to  eulogize  their  country  declared  that  it  abounded  in  game — deer, 
wild  pigs,  monkeys,  agouti,  armadillos,  forest  hens,  pigeons,  etc.  But 
recorded  hunting  methods  are  neither  numerous  nor  elaborate,  and 
collective  hunting  is  mentioned  only  in  connection  with  certain  ratlike 
rodents,  which  were  surrounded  by  a  party  of  men  and  forced  into  a 
previously  dug  ditch,  where  they  were  clubbed  to  death.  Most  hunting 
was  carried  on  by  individuals  or  by  small  groups  of  men. 

The  hunting  weapons  were  bows  and  arrows.  Long  bows  were  gen- 
erally made  of  hard  black  wood — ^pao  d'arco  {Tecoma  impetiginosa) ,  ayri 
palm  {Astroearyum  ayri) — or  of  jacaranda  or  sapucaia.  The  front  part 
was  convex,  the  string  side  flat.  The  stave  was  sometimes  partially  covered 
with  a  basketry  sheath  and  trimmed  with  feathers.  The  bow-string  was 
of  cotton  or  tucum  fiber  {Astroearyum  eampestre),  sometimes  painted 
green  or  red.  The  arrows  had  four  main  types  of  head :  ( 1 )  a  lanceolate 
bamboo  (taquara)  blade  with  sharp  edges  for  killing  large  animals;  (2)  a 
simple  tapering  piece  of  hard  wood,  which  was  barbed  for  most  arrows ; 
(3)  a  head  like  the  last  but  tipped  with  a  bone  splinter,  a  fish  bone,  or  a 
spur  of  a  sting  ray  that  formed  a  barb ;  (4)  a  wooden  knob  to  stun  birds 
and  monkeys.    Fishing  arrows  will  be  mentioned  later. 

Arrow  shafts  were  made  of  straight  reeds  (Gynerimn  sagittatum)  with- 
out knobs.  The  feathering  was  of  the  "East  Brazilian,"  or  tangential  type : 
Two  feathers  with  their  barbs  cut  off  along  one  side  were  laid  spirally 
against  the  shaft  and  fixed  with  cotton  thread  at  their  extremities.  The 
terminal  nock  seems  to  have  been  reinforced  with  a  wooden  plug. 

The  Tupinamba  quickly  learned  to  train  the  dogs,  which  they  received 
from  Europeans  soon  after  the  Discovery,  to  hunt  game,  especially  agouti. 
They  beat  jaguars  from  the  bush  with  packs  of  dogs. 

Caimans,  which  were  eaten  with  relish,  were  first  shot  with  arrows  and 
then  killed  with  clubs.  Small  animals,  such  as  lizards,  were  caught  almost 
exclusively  by  children. 

Blinds,  traps,  and  snares. — Large  blinds  for  watching  and  shooting 
birds  were  built  in  treetops. 


Jaguars  and  tapirs  were  caught  in  concealed  pit  falls  dug  across  their 
main  paths.  A  more  elaborate  jaguar  trap  consisted  of  an  enclosure  of 
strong  poles.  In  entering  it,  the  animal  stepped  on  a  contrivance  that 
caused  a  heavy  log  to  fall  and  crush  him.  Jaguars  also  were  captured  by 
means  of  spring  snares.  A  noose  attached  to  a  bent  pole — the  spring — 
was  laid  open  on  the  animal's  path.  If  the  jaguar  stepped  near  it,  his 
weight  caused  a  trigger  to  fall  which  allowed  the  pole  to  spring  upright 
and  pulled  the  noose  up  around  one  of  his  paws.  The  jaguar  was  then 
shot  with  arrows,  whereupon  apologies  were  made  to  its  carcass  lest  it 
take  revenge  on  its  murderers.  Small  traps,  snares,  and  nets  were  em- 
ployed to  catch  small  mammals  and  birds.  Parrots  were  lassoed  with  a 
noose  on  the  end  of  a  pole. 

Fishing. — Living  by  the  ocean  and  on  numerous  rivers  along  the 
Brazilian  coast,  the  Tupinamba  had  access  to  large  supplies  of  sea  food. 
During  certain  times  of  the  year  they  lived  almost  exclusively  on  fish. 
After  the  rainy  season,  the  Tupinamba  of  Maranhao  left  their  villages  for 
several  weeks  to  camp  (fig.  6,  bottom)  along  the  shore  near  shallow 
lagoons  that  swarmed  with  fish.  Enormous  quantities  of  parati  fish 
(Mugil  brasiliensis)  were  also  caught  in  August  while  swimming  upstream 
to  spawn.  This  month  was,  therefore,  a  propitious  time  for  war  expedi- 
tions, the  rivers  yielding  a  reliable  supply  of  food.  Shoals  of  fish  were 
driven  into  empty  canoes  by  striking  the  water  with  sticks.  Fish,  if 
numerous,  were  also  dipped  out  with  sieves  and  gourds,  especially  at 
night  when  attracted  by  torchlight.  Men  armed  with  fish  nets  formed  a 
barrier  against  which  fish  were  driven  by  striking  the  water.  Rivers  and 
coves  were  often  closed  with  weirs  made  of  branches  or  with  dams  of 
stones.  Fishermen  standing  on  the  dam  scooped  up  the  fish  with  dip 
nets.  Funnel-shaped  baskets  were  placed  in  running  water  at  narrow 
passages  where  the  fish  would  be  forced  to  enter  them  and  be  caught.  The 
Tupinamba  were  skillful  at  shooting  fish  either  with  arrows  tipped  with 
several  hardwood  prongs  or  with  harpoon  arrows.  They  also  killed  fish 
by  poisoning  calm  waters  with  the  juices  of  several  creepers,  such  as 
timbo  (Dahlstedtia  pinnata)  and  the  tingui  (Tephrosia  toxicaria).  Na- 
tive hooks,  which  disappeared  rapidly  after  European  contact,  were  made 
ot'  thorns;  fishlines,  of  tucuma  (Bactris  setosa)  fibers.  The  Tupinamba 
were  said  to  be  such  good  swimmers  that  they  could  even  dive  and  catch 
fish  with  their  hands. 

Domestication. — Pets,  numerous  in  any  village,  were  mainly  birds  and 
a  few  such  animals  as  wild  pigs,  agouti,  monkeys,  and  even  armadillos 
and  caimans.  Certain  birds,  such  as  ducks,  a  kind  of  turkey,  and  pigeons, 
may  actually  have  been  domesticated.  These  ducks,  however,  were  not 
eaten  lest  their  flesh  cause  a  person  to  become  slow.  Tame  parrots  were 
taught  to  speak  and  became  an  important  article  of  trade  with  Europeans, 
but  also  had  a  certain  economic  value  in  native  culture,  for  they  were 

102  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

plucked  every  year,  and  their  feathers  were  made  into  ornaments.  The 
Tupinamba  changed  the  natural  colors  of  the  feathers  of  green  parrots  by 
"tapirage."  By  rubbing  with  the  blood  of  a  frog  (Rana  tinctoriaf)  the 
sores  left  by  plucking  the  birds,  they  caused  the  new  feathers  to  grow 
yellow  or  red.  These  Indians  eagerly  received  domesticated  fowls  brought 
to  them  by  Europeans  and  unquestionably  aided  their  diffusion  in  eastern 
South  America.  They  never  ate  these  fowls,  but  plucked  them,  especially 
the  white  ones,  as  they  did  native  birds.  The  feathers  were  dyed  in  a 
decoction  of  Brazil  wood  (Caesalpinia  echinata).  When  the  Tupinamba 
received  their  first  dogs  from  the  Portuguese,  they  called  them  "jaguars." 
They  grew  so  fond  of  them  that  the  women  carried  the  puppies  like 
babies.  The  Tupinamba  also  kept  European  pigs,  but  did  not  care  for 
their  flesh. 

Food  preparation. — Poisonous  manioc  required  lengthy  preparation 
before  consumption.  The  tubers  were  peeled  with  shells  and  grated  on 
rough-surfaced  stones  or  on  special  graters,  i.e.,  boards  in  which  stone 
chips  or  fishbones  were  imbedded  at  close  intervals.  The  poisonous  juice 
was  extracted  by  squeezing  the  manioc  in  a  long  basketry  tube  (tipiti). 
Afterward,  the  pulp  was  sifted  and  made  into  flour  ("hard  flour")  by 
constant  stirring  while  it  roasted  in  a  large  pottery  platter.  For  wafers 
(beiju),  the  mass  simply  was  spread  in  a  more  or  less  thick  layer  on  the 
same  utensil. 

Another  kind  of  flour  ("water  flour")  was  made  from  tubers  which  had 
been  soaked  in  running  water  for  many  days  until  they  began  to  decay. 
They  were  then  crushed  by  hand,  strained  in  the  tipiti,  and  passed  through 
a  sieve.  The  pulp  was  baked  as  before.  A  flour  called  carima  was  obtained 
from  tubers  that  were  rotted,  soaked  in  water,  smoked  on  a  babracot, 
pounded  in  a  wooden  mortar,  and  carefully  sifted.  The  famous  war  flour 
was  a  combination  of  "water  flour"  and  carima  baked  for  a  long  time  until 
dried  and  well  roasted.  This  flour,  which  would  keep  for  more  than  a 
year,  was  carried  by  travelers  and  warriors  in  waterproof  satchels  plaited 
of  palm  leaves. 

Aypi,  or  sweet  manioc,  could  be  eaten  directly  after  boiling  or  roasting, 
but  was  cultivated  mainly  for  brewing  mead.  It  was  also  made  into 
various  kinds  of  flour.  The  juice  of  both  species  of  manioc,  if  left  in  the 
sun  for  a  while,  deposited  its  starch,  which  was  baked  and  eaten.  Other 
tubers,  such  as  sweet  potatoes,  card,  mangara,  and  taia,  required  a  less 
elaborate  treatment,  being  either  boiled  or  roasted.  Maize,  mainly  con- 
sumed in  the  form  of  flour,  was  also  roasted  or  boiled.  Peanuts  were 
broiled  and  roasted.  The  name  "mingao"  designated  any  mush  made  of 
manioc  or  other  flour.    Mangara  and  taia  leaves  were  eaten  as  greens. 

Meat  and  fish  were  roasted  or  boiled.  The  broth  was  often  mixed 
with  manioc  flour.     Small  fish,  wrapped  in  leaves,  were  cooked  under 


ashes.  Any  surplus  of  game  or  fish  was  dried  and  smoked  for  about 
24  hours  on  a  huge  babracot,  a  rectangular  four-legged  grill  or  platform 
made  of  sticks,  under  which  a  slow  fire  burned.  Another  method  for 
preserving  meat  and  fish  was  to  pound  it  into  a  sort  of  pemmican  or  flour. 

Condiments  comprised  mainly  several  species  of  pepper  and  occasion- 
ally a  grass  called  nhamby  (coentro  do  sertao,  Eryngium  foetidum.). 
Salt  was  obtained  by  evaporating  sea  water  in  ditches  dug  near  the  shore 
or  by  boiling  it  in  large  pots.  It  was  also  made  by  boiling  lye  made  of 
palm-wood  ashes.  Salt  and  ground  pepper  were  generally  mixed,  and 
every  morsel  of  food  was  dipped  in  this  powder  before  being  eaten. 

The  Tupiimmba  ate  in  silence,  all  squatting  on  the  ground  around  a 
big  dish,  except  the  head  of  the  extended  family,  who  lay  in  his  hammock. 
They  were  expert  at  throwing  into  their  mouths  manioc  flour,  which 
accompanied  every  dish.  Many  persons  washed  before  and  after  every 


Tupinamba  villages  consisted  of  from  4  to  8  huge  communal  houses 
built  around  a  square  plaza.,  where  the  social  and  religious  life  of  the 
community  centered  (fig.  6,  top).  Houses  varied  in  length  from  about 
50  to  500  feet  (15  to  150  m.),  the  average  being  about  250  to  300  feet 
(75  to  90  m.),  and  in  width  from  30  to  50  feet  (9  to  15  m.).  The  height 
was  about  12  feet  (3.5  m.).  Thirty  families,  that  is,  more  than  100  people, 
could  live  in  a  dwelling ;  some  houses  even  had  as  many  as  200  occupants. 

Houses  were  constructed  on  a  rectangular  ground  plan.  The  roof  was 
arched  or  vaulted,  apparently  descending  to  the  ground,  thus  also  form- 
ing the  side  walls — hence  the  frequent  comparison  in  the  ancient  litera- 
ture to  overturned  boats.  The  structure  was  thatched  with  leaves  of 
pindo  palm,  patiaba,  or  capara  {Geonoma  sp.)  artfully  sewn  or  woven 
together  so  as  to  be  entirely  waterproof.  There  was  a  low  door  at  each 
end  and  one  or  sometimes  two  on  the  side.  In  the  interior,  the  quarters 
of  each  family  were  marked  off  by  two  wall  posts.  The  family  ham- 
mocks were  suspended  from  additional  posts.  Possessions,  such  as  cala- 
bashes, pots,  weapons,  and  provisions,  were  stored  in  the  rafters  or  on 
small  platforms.  Each  family  kept  a  fire  burning  day  and  night  in  its 
compartment.  The  center  of  the  hut  was  left  free  as  a  communal  passage- 
way. The  head  of  the  extended  family,  his  relatives,  and  slaves  were 
accommodated  in  the  middle  or  in  some  other  privileged  part  of  the  long 
house.  Hammocks,  carved  benches,  and  pottery  of  all  sizes  and  shapes 
comprised  the  usual  household  equipment. 

Villages  were  located  on  hilltops,  where  the  air  was  not  too  stifling. 
Those  exposed  to  enemy  attacks  were  fortified  with  a  double  stockade 
(fig.  6,  top),  having  embrasures  for  archers.  The  access  to  the  village 
was  defended  with  pitfalls  and  caltrops. 

The  Tupinamba  shifted  their  villages  when  the  house  thatching  began 



Figure  b.—Tupinamba  palisaded  village  {top)  and  camp  {bottom). 
(After  Staden,  1557.) 

Vol.  3] 



to  rot  or  when  the  soil  of  their  cultivated  clearings  was  exhausted.  They 
did  not  remain  in  one  place  more  than  4  or  5  years.  A  new  village  was 
generally  built  near  the  old  one  and  retained  the  same  name. 


In  daily  life  men  and  women  were  entirely  naked,  except  that  adult 
men,  especially  old  men,  wore  a  penis  sheath  of  leaves.  Young  men 
contented  themselves  with  a  ligature  round  the  prepuce. 

Feather  ornaments. — In  contrast  to  this  lack  of  dress,  ornaments  were 
numerous  and  showy.  On  their  heads  men  wore  high  diadems  made  of 
the  tails  of  parrots  or  other  bright  birds  or  bonnets  of  small  feathers 
fastened  in  the  knots  of  a  cotton  net.  The  feather  fabric  was  so  compact 
that  it  suggested  velvet.  Some  of  these  bonnets  fell  down  in  the  back 
like  long,  narrow  capes  (fig.  7,  left).    The  most  spectacular  feather  orna- 



Figure  7. — Tupinamba  headdress  and  ceremonial  war  club,    (b.  Approximately  1/14 
actual  size.)    (Redrawn  from  Metraux,  1928  a.) 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

ments  were  long,  wide  cloaks  composed  entirely  of  red  feathers  of  the 
guara  (Guara  rubra).  Necklaces,  bracelets,  and  anklets  were  also 
made  of  bright  feathers.  Many  feather  ornaments,  especially  cloaks,  have 
found  their  way  to  European  museums.  The  best  feathered  specimens 
were  collected  by  the  Dutch  in  their  early  Brazilian  possessions,  and  are 
now  in  the  National  Museum  of  Copenhagen.     For  festive  occasions  or 

Figure  8. — Tupinamba  dress.   Top:  Warriors  with  ceremonial  club  and  feather-plume 
decoration.  Bottom:  Labrets.   (After  Staden,  1557.) 

Vol.  3] 



for  war,  men  suspended  on  their  buttocks  an  ornament  of  ostrich  plumes 
in  the  "form  of  a  large  round  ball  to  which  feathers  were  attached"  (figs. 
8,  top;  9,  left). 

The  love  for  feathers  was  so  great  that  men  and  even  women  glued 
them  to  their  heads  with  wax  or  sprinkled  chopped  feathers  all  over 
their  bodies,  which  they  had  previously  coated  with  gum  or  honey.  Often 
they  substitued  particles  of  red  or  yellow  wood  for  feathers.  They  also 
pasted  with  wax  on  their  temples  patches  of  toucan  skin  covered  with 
yellow  feathers.  Feathers,  after  use,  were  carefully  collected,  cleaned, 
and  stored  in  bamboo  tubes  sealed  with  wax. 

Figure  9. — Tupinamba  ceremonial  objects.   Left:  Warrior's  feather  plumes  worn  on 
hips.  Right:  Ceremonial  club  and  cord.    (After  Staden,  1557.) 

Necklaces  and  garters. — Chiefs  and  important  men  had  necklaces  of 
round  or  square  shell  (Strombus  pugilis)  beads  so  long — some  were  30 
feet  (9m.)  in  length — that  they  had  to  be  coiled  a  great  many  times 
round  their  necks.  Others  had  strings  of  black  wooden  beads  {Astro- 
caryum  ayri).  Warriors  displayed  necklaces  strung  with  the  teeth — 
sometimes  as  many  as  2,(XX)  to  3,000 — of  their  victims.  Women  used 
similar  necklaces,  but  ordinarily  wore  them  wound  around  their  arms. 
Certain  women's  bracelets  are  described  as  a  careful  assemblage  of  small 
pieces  of  shell  imbricated  like  fish  scales.  Belts  of  shell  beads  are  also 
mentioned  in  the  literature.  A  most  precious  male  heirloom  was  a  cres- 
centic  pendant  6  inches  to  1  foot  (15  to  30  cm.)  long,  consisting  of  well- 
polished  bone  and  shell  plates  worn  suspended  round  the  neck  by  a  cotton 

Men  and  women  wore  one  or  two  broad  cotton  garters  under  the 
knee,  men  trimming  theirs  with  feathers.    In  the  region  of  Bahia,  these 

108  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

garters  were  bound  tightly  around  little  girl's  legs  to  make  the  calves 
bulge  in  later  life. 

Hairdressing. — Neither  sex  tolerated  any  hair  on  the  body.  They 
either  pulled  it  out  with  their  fingers,  or  shaved  it  with  a  bamboo  splinter 
or  a  quartz  knife.  With  the  same  instrument  men  shaved  their  foreheads 
back  to  the  level  of  the  ears.  Women  generally  allowed  their  hair  to  hang 
loose  down  their  backs,  but,  when  at  work,  they  tied  it  up  over  the  head 
in  a  knot  or  divided  it  into  one  or  two  bundles  wrapped  with  a  cotton 
fillet.  Combs  were  made  from  a  fruit  with  long  spikes.  The  only 
cosmetic  was  oil  extracted  from  several  fruits,  generally  those  of  palm 
trees  (uucuuba,  Myristica  sebijera).  The  natives  washed  their  hair  with 
a  root  or  the  skins  of  the  Sapindus  divaricatus  fruit,  which  makes  suds 
when  soaked  in  water  and  squeezed  between  the  fingers. 

Labrets. — When  a  Tupinamba  boy  was  5  or  6  years  old,  his  lower  lip 
was  pierced,  and  henceforth  he  wore  in  the  hole  either  a  plain  wooden 
plug  or  a  conical  bone  stick  or  a  shell.  Later  in  life  he  substituted  a  green 
or  white  stone  (beryl,  amazonite,  chrysoprase,  chalcedony,  quartz,  or 
crystal)  shaped  like  a  T  or  a  large  button.  A  few  men,  generally  chiefs 
or  medicine  men,  perforated  their  cheeks  for  similar  ornaments,  some  wear- 
ing as  many  as  seven  (fig.  8). 

Ear  ornaments. — Women  inserted  in  their  ear  lobes  a  shell  cylinder 
long  enough  to  reach  their  shoulders  or  even  their  breasts.  Men  wore 
thin  bone  sticks,  similar  to  bone  labrets,  in  their  ears.  Some  men  also 
wore  small  bone  or  wooden  sticks  through  the  wings  of  the  nose. 

Tattooing. — Both  sexes  were  tattooed.  Charcoal  or  certain  plant  juices 
were  rubbed  into  wounds  made  with  a  rodent's  tooth  or  a  shell.  A  man's 
body  was  covered  with  capricious  designs,  which  were  extended  each  time 
he  killed  a  man  in  war  or  sacrificed  a  prisoner.  Judging  from  a  contem- 
porary drawing,  such  tattooing  marks  formed  regular  geometrical  patterns, 
not  unlike  designs  on  pottery.  Women  were  tattooed  only  at  puberty. 

Painting. — On  every  important  occasion,  such  as  a  drinking  bout,  a 
funeral,  or  the  slaughtering  of  a  prisoner,  men  and  women  painted  their 
bodies.  The  favorite  pigments  were  black,  made  of  genipa,  and  red,  made 
of  urucii.  Black  and  red  paint,  alone  or  alternating,  covered  large  surfaces 
of  the  body,  especially  the  lower  limbs.  Men  and  women  entrusted  them- 
selves to  skillful  artists,  generally  women,  who  traced  on  their  persons 
artistic  and  capricious  patterns  consisting  of  checkers,  spirals,  waves,  and 
other  elements  similar  to  those  painted  on  pottery.  Blue  and  yellow, 
though  less  common,  were  used  on  the  face  in  combination  with  the  two 
other  pigments. 


Carrying  devices. — Heavy  loads,  such  as  crops,  were  carried  on  the 
back  in  elongated  baskets  that  were  open  on  the  top  and  outer  side.  These 
were  suspended  from  the  forehead  by  a  tumpline. 


Children  were  carried  straddling  the  hip,  and  supported  by  a  sling 
manufactured  like  a  small  hammock. 

Boats. — The  Tupinavnba  had  three  types  of  watercraft:  (1)  Dugouts, 
(2)  bark  canoes,  (3)  rafts.  Dugouts  were  hollowed  out  of  huge  logs  by 
the  laborious  process  of  burning  and  scraping  the  charred  wood  away. 
The  Tupinaniba  of  Bahia  could  finish  a  canoe  in  a  few  days  by  using  the 
ubiragara  tree  (Ficus  doliaria  or  Cavanillesia  arbor ea),  which  has  a  soft 
inside.    Large  dugouts  were  manned  by  30  to  60  men. 

To  build  a  bark  canoe,  they  erected  a  platform  around  a  suitable  tree, 
peeled  the  bark  off  in  one  large  piece,  and  heated  it  to  bend  it  "in  front 
and  behind,  but  first  lashed  it  together  with  wood  so  that  it  did  not  stretch." 
This  craft,  sometimes  40  feet  (12  m.)  long,  held  from  25  to  30  persons. 
Like  the  dugouts,  these  canoes  were  used  for  raids  along  the  coast. 

The  Tupinaniba  paddled  their  canoes  standing  up.  The  blades  were 
lanceolate  in  shape,  the  handles  without  cross  bars  or  knobs.  The  Caete 
navigated  the  Sao  Francisco  River,  and  even  along  the  coast  as  far  as 
Bahia,  on  huge  rafts  or  balsas  made  of  reed  bundles  tied  up  with  creepers 
and  connected  with  transverse  sticks.  Such  rafts  could  easily  transport  10 
to  12  Indians. 

Fishermen  sat  on  small  rafts  (piperi),  made  of  four  or  five  thick  round 
pieces  of  light  wood  bound  together  with  creepers,  and  propelled  them 
with  a  flat  stick. 


Miscellaneous  tools. — Trees  were  felled  with  stone  axes.  Ax  heads 
were  hafted  with  a  withy  bent  double  around  their  butts  and  held  fast 
with  bast.  Stone  chisels,  similarly  hafted,  served  for  carving.  Rodent 
teeth  and  wild  pig  tusks,  "bound  between  two  sticks,"  served  for  boring. 
Shells  or  bamboo  splinters  were  employed  as  knives.  They  polished 
bows  with  the  rough  leaves  of  mbaiba  (Cecropia adenopus) . 

Basketry. — Basketry  included  sieves,  fire  fans,  containers  of  different 
types,  and  perhaps  also  fish  traps.  Temporary  baskets  were  made  of 
plaited  palm  leaves.  Those  intended  for  longer  service  were  manufactured 
of  creepers  (Serjania  or  Paullinia)  split  into  thin  strips,  which  were 
twilled,  yielding  geometrical  patterns  when  the  strips  were  black  and  white. 

Spinning  and  weaving. — Cotton  threads  were  spun  with  a  spindle — 
a  stick  with  a  flat,  circular  wooden  whorl.  Women  rolled  the  spindle  along 
the  thigh  to  set  it  in  motion  and  then  dropped  it.  Ropes  were  twisted 
of  cotton  and  other  fibers ;  or  were  sometimes  plaited  for  ceremonial  use. 

The  Tupiimmba  knew  only  the  simplest  technique  of  twined  weaving, 
which  was  used  for  the  fabric  of  the  hammocks.  The  warp  strands  were 
wrapped  horizontally  around  two  vertical  posts  and  twined  together  with 
double  wefts.  Some  fabrics  were  woven  so  tightly  as  to  appear  to  be  true 
woven  cloth. 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Pottery. — Tupinamba  pottery  was  highly  praised  by  early  voyagers, 
but  the  few  extant  specimens  do  not  show  unusual  technical  or  artistic 
skill.  Bowls,  dishes,  and  vases  had  simple  forms :  round,  oval,  and  even 
square  (fig.  10).  They  were  often  painted  on  the  inside  with  red  and 
black  linear  motifs  on  a  white  background  and  were  also  glazed  with  resin 
(for  instance,  the  resin  of  the  icica,  Protium  brasiliense).  The  most  con- 
spicuous pots  were  huge  jars,  with  a  capacity  of  about  14  gallons  (50 
liters),  for  storing  beer.  These  and  cooking  pots  often  were  decorated 
with  thumbnail  impressions  made  in  the  wet  clay,  an  embellishment  typical 


Figure  10, — Tupinamba  and  Guarani  pottery,  a,  b,  d,  e,  Tupinamba-,  others,  Guarani. 
(Redrawn  from  Metraux,  1928  a.) 


of  many  Tupi  tribes.  Pottery  was  baked  in  a  shallow  pit  covered  with 
fuel.  The  best  pot  makers  were  the  old  women.  Tradition  had  it  that  a 
pot  which  was  not  baked  by  the  person  who  modeled  it  would  surely  crack. 

Fire  making. — Fire  was  generated  by  a  drill  and  activated  by  a  fire 
fan.  Torches  were  sticks  of  ibiraba  wood,  which  burned  steadily  once  the 
end  fibers  had  been  unraveled. 

Weapons. — See  Hunting  (p.  100). 

Calabashes. — Halved  gourds  served  as  dishes  and  bowls.  The  interior 
was  generally  smeared  with  genipa  and  the  exterior  with  a  yellow  varnish. 
Small  containers  or  mortars  were  made  of  the  shell  of  the  sapucaia  fruits. 


From  existing  documents,  we  can  only  surmise  the  type  of  social 
organization  prevailing  among  the  Tupinamba.  Like  many  Guiana  In- 
dians, they  lived  in  large  communal  houses,  whose  occupants  were  related 
either  by  blood  or  by  marriage  and  were  probably  the  members  of  a 
patrilineal  extended  family.  A  man's  brother's  daughter  was  regarded 
as  his  daughter,  but  his  sister's  daughter  was  his  potential  wife.  The 
children  of  a  woman  of  the  tribe  by  a  captive  father  were  regarded  as 
members  of  the  enemy  group  and  were  consequently  eaten  by  their 
mother's  relatives.  The  children  of  a  tribesman  were  always  full-fledged 
members  of  the  community  irrespective  of  the  mother's  status. 

Marriage. — The  preferred  marriages  were  between  cross-cousins  and 
between  a  girl  and  her  mother's  brother,  or  in  case  there  were  none,  the 
mother's  nearest  male  relative.  The  maternal  uncle  carefully  supervised 
the  conduct  of  his  future  bride  if  he  did  not  wish  to  take  advantage  of  his 
marital  claim,  and  had  to  be  consulted  if  his  niece  wanted  to  marry  another 
man.  If  the  husband  were  not  the  girl's  mother's  brother,  he  became  his 
father-in-law's  servant.  He  had  to  assist  him  in  all  economic  activities, 
such  as  house  building,  opening  clearings,  hunting,  fishing,  and  fuel  gather- 
ing. He  also  had  to  accompany  him  on  the  warpath,  carry  his  burdens, 
and  supply  him  with  food  and  shelter.  To  gain  the  favor  of  his  in-laws, 
the  bridegroom  would  assume  the  responsibility  of  revenging  the  death 
of  any  of  his  affinal  relatives  and  ofifer  a  prisoner  he  might  have  taken  to 
one  of  his  brothers-in-law,  who  would  kill  the  captive,  thereby  increasing 
his  prestige  by  a  change  of  his  name,  A  hard  fate  it  was  indeed  for 
those  who  had  few  relatives  and  were,  therefore,  compelled  to  live  with 
their  in-laws.  "Marriage,"  says  Thevet  (1575),  "costs  the  man  a  great 
deal  of  work  and  pain."  Suitors,  according  to  Soares  de  Souza  (1851, 
p.  311),  worked  2  or  3  years  before  they  acquired  their  wives;  and  after 
this  they  had  to  settle  with  their  in-laws  and  remain  in  their  service. 

Marriage,  in  its  initial  phase  at  least,  seems  to  have  been  strictly 
matrilocal,  but  the  general  tendency  for  any  man  was  to  liberate  himself 

112  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

from  his  subordinate  position  by  settling  with  his  wife  in  his  parents'  long 
house.  Chiefs  could  do  away  with  matrilocalism  and  take  their  wives 
home;  a  man  related  to  a  powerful  family  could  buy  his  liberty  with 
presents  and  favors  bestowed  on  his  in-laws;  and  any  man  might  also 
gain  his  freedom  by  marrying  his  daughter  to  his  wife's  brother. 

A  widow  generally  married  her  husband's  older  brother  or  one  of  his 
close  relatives  who  had  avenged  her  husband's  death,  if  it  had  occurred 
in  battle,  or  who  had  taken  a  prisoner  to  "renew"  the  deceased  spouse's 
grave  and  wear  his  ornaments,  in  case  of  a  natural  death.  (See  p.  120.) 
The  second  husband  was  expected  to  be  as  valiant  as  the  first. 

Once  redeemed  from  his  bondage,  a  man  could  take  other  wives  and 
often  did  at  the  request  of  a  wife  eager  to  share  her  tasks  with  them.  The 
first  wife  always  retained  a  preeminent  position,  however,  and  enjoyed  the 
right  to  hang  her  hammock  next  to  that  of  her  husband.  Each  wife  of  a 
polygynous  man  "had  her  separate  lodging  in  the  huts,  her  own  fire  and 
root  plantation,  and  that  one  with  whom  he  (the  husband)  cohabited  for 
the  time  being,  gave  him  his  food,  and  thus  he  went  the  round  of  them" 
(Staden,  1928,  p.  146). 

A  man  could  also  have  wives  scattered  in  different  villages.  Polygynous 
wives  were  given  to  surprisingly  little  jealousy  and  quarreling,  though  they 
often  included  women  of  other  villages  who  had  been  captured  in  war. 

A  young  man  unable  to  find  a  marriageable  girl  or  lacking  a  mother  or 
sister  to  cook  for  him  did  not  hesitate  to  take  some  aging  woman  as  first 
wife,  whom  he  would  discard  when  he  could  obtain  a  more  suitable  mate. 
Warriors  of  renown  and  famous  medicine  men  had  no  difficulty  in 
acquiring  new  wives,  who  were  readily  given  to  them  by  their  fathers 
or  brothers.  Some  chiefs  had  as  many  as  30  wives.  Polygyny  was  thus 
a  mark  of  prestige  and  a  source  of  wealth.  Matrimonial  ties  were  easily 
broken  by  either  spouse,  sometimes  for  reasons  that  appear  to  us  trifling. 
The  divorced  woman,  if  young,  would  remarry.  An  adulteress  was  not 
severely  punished  unless  her  husband  was  a  great  chief ;  but  if  a  captive 
or  without  a  family  to  revenge  her,  she  might  be  killed.  The  guilty  partner 
was  unmolested,  lest  his  kin  start  a  feud. 

Prestige. — ^A  man  with  several  daughters  attained  considerable  au- 
thority and  prestige  because  he  had  under  him  both  his  sons-in-law  and 
his  daughters'  suitors.  Men  who  had  changed  names  often,  having  killed 
several  enemies  in  battle  or  sacrificed  captives  on  the  village  plaza,  acquired 
great  prestige  and  influence  in  the  community. 

Slaves. — Though,  with  few  exceptions,  all  prisoners,  male  or  female, 
were  eventually  eaten,  they  were  kept  long  enough  in  the  community  to  be 
considered  a  special  class  within  Tupinamha  society.  Possession  of  a 
prisoner  was  an  envied  privilege.  One  who  enjoyed  it  did  not  hesitate  to 
make  the  greatest  sacrifices  to  keep  his  charge  happy  and  in  good  health. 
A  man  would  starve  rather  than  deprive  his  captive  of  food,  and  usually 


gave  him  a  daughter  or  sister  as  a  wife.  Lacking  a  close  female  relative, 
the  captor  would  ask  a  friend  to  give  him  a  woman  for  the  purpose,  a 
request  sure  to  be  granted,  for  conjugal  ties  with  a  prisoner  were  regarded 
as  honorable.  In  certain  cases  the  prisoner  was  married  to  the  widow  of 
a  warrior  killed  before  his  capture  and  was  allotted  the  deceased's  ham- 
mock and  ornaments.  The  relations  between  a  prisoner  and  his  new  wife 
were  identical  with  those  of  any  other  married  couple  and  were  supposed 
to  last  forever,  the  woman  being  just  as  attached  to  her  temporary  husband 
as  in  normal  wedlock.  These  prisoners'  wives,  it  is  said,  had  the  respon- 
sibility of  preventing  their  husbands  from  running  away,  but  the  statement 
is  to  be  accepted  with  reserve.  Some  authors  report  cases  of  women  who 
grew  so  fond  of  their  husbands  that  they  escaped  with  them. 

Female  captives  were  often  taken  as  secondary  wives  or  concubines  by 
their  masters,  but  sooner  or  later  they  were  ritually  sacrificed  unless  they 
belonged  to  an  influential  man  who  had  become  fond  of  them.  If  their 
masters  did  not  care  for  them,  they  were  allowed  to  have  sexual  relations 
with  whomever  they  wished.  The  skulls  of  female  captives  who  died  a 
natural  death  were  crushed. 

Prisoners  were  kindly  treated  and  regarded  their  masters,  whose  quar- 
ters they  shared,  as  relatives.  The  Tupinamba  were  heartbroken  to  see 
Europeans  mistreat  the  prisoners  they  had  sold  to  them.  They  would  come 
from  far  away  to  visit  them,  and  would  hide  and  protect  any  of  their 
former  slaves  who  escaped. 

Prisoners  had  fields  for  their  maintenance  and  were  free  to  hunt  or 
fish.  They  were  welcome  at  the  feasts  and  drinking  bouts.  It  seems, 
however,  that,  like  a  son-in-law  or  a  brother-in-law,  they  were  obliged 
to  work  for  their  masters.  They  were,  moreover,  reminded  of  their  servile 
condition  by  a  few  restrictions  and  humiliations.  They  could  not  make  a 
present  or  work  for  anybody  without  their  masters'  consent.  They  were 
forbidden  to  enter  a  hut  through  the  thatched  wall,  though  other  people 
might  do  so.  They  must,  under  pain  of  death,  avoid  amorous  relations 
with  a  married  woman.  If  they  fell  sick,  they  were  immediately  sacrificed. 
Further,  at  any  time  they  could  be  the  target  for  the  most  violent  insults 
and  abuses.  A  woman  who  refused  to  accept  willingly  the  sacrifice  of 
children  she  had  by  a  prisoner,  was  severly  censured,  and  her  family 
shared  her  disrepute. 


Each  long  house  had  a  headman  who  was  under  the  village  chief.  Some 
villages  had  two  or  even  three  or  four  chiefs,  if  we  may  rely  on  Claude 
d' Abbeville's  census  of  the  Maranhao  region.  Some  chiefs  extended  their 
power  over  a  whole  district  and  commanded  a  great  many  villages.  Rank 
was  determined  by  war  prowess  (capture  and  ceremonial  execution  of 
prisoners),  magic  power,  oratorical  gifts,  and  wealth. 

114  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

Soares  de  Souza  writes: 

The  chief  must  be  a  man  of  courage.  He  has  to  belong  to  a  large  family  and  to 
be  well  liked  by  its  members  so  that  they  are  willing  to  help  cultivate  his  plantations, 
but  even  when  he  opens  a  clearing  with  the  assistance  of  relatives,  he  is  the  first  to 
put  his  hand  to  the  task.    [Soares  de  Souza,  1851,  p.  325.] 

The  authority  of  chiefs,  undisputed  in  war  time,  was  subordinated  to 
the  sanction  of  a  council  in  peace. 

This  council  was  composed  of  the  elder  men  and  famous  warriors, 
who  met  on  the  village  plaza  for  any  important  decision.  The  chief  spoke 
first,  and  then  each  councilor  in  turn  gave  his  opinion,  while  the  others, 
according  to  their  rank,  sat  in  their  hammocks  or  squatted  on  the  ground 
smoking  huge  cigarettes. 

Each  morning  the  headman  of  a  hut  assigned  everybody  a  task  and 
delivered  a  speech  encouraging  the  people  to  go  to  work  and  follow  the 
good  example  of  their  ancestors. 

Chieftainship  was  inherited  by  the  son  or  the  brother  of  the  deceased 
chief,  if  he  had  the  required  qualifications. 

Social  control  and  justice. — Social  control  over  the  individual's 
behavior  was  very  strong.  Great  stress  was  put  on  the  smoothness  of 
manners  and  gentleness,  any  outburst  of  anger  being  looked  on  with 
abhorrence.  People  shunned  the  company  of  temperamental  persons. 
If  an  Indian  felt  incapable  of  controlling  his  feelings,  he  warned  those 
present,  who  immediately  tried  to  calm  him  down.  When  a  serious 
quarrel  broke  out  in  a  village,  the  individuals  involved  went  to  the  ex- 
treme of  burning  their  own  houses,  challenging  their  adversaries  to  do 
likewise.  Under  the  influence  of  anger,  these  Indians  were  prone  to 
commit  suicide  by  eating  soil. 

Blood  revenge  was  a  sacred  duty.  When  a  homicide  might  involve 
two  allied  groups  in  a  feud,  the  relatives  of  the  murderer  often  did  not 
hesitate  to  kill  him,  lest  the  peace  be  disturbed. 

The  cooperation  of  neighbors  or  relatives  in  any  joint  enterprise  was 
rewarded  by  a  drinking  party  organized  by  the  beneficiaries.  A  hunter 
or  a  fishermen,  upon  returning  home,  shared  his  catch  first  with  the 
headman  of  the  long  house  and  then  with  the  members  of  his  household. 
The  Tupinamhas'  generosity  and  willingness  to  share  anything  they  had 
are  often  stressed  by  the  old  sources.  Anybody  could,  without  asking 
for  permission,  use  utensils  belonging  to  some  housemate, 


Guests  were  greeted  with  tears.  As  soon  as  a  visitor  entered  a  hut 
he  was  surrounded  by  the  women  of  the  house,  who  showed  their  sym- 
pathy by  friendly  gestures  and  started  to  cry,  intermingling  their  laments 
with  chants  in  which  they  alluded  to  the  dead  members  of  the  community 
and  to  other  mournful  subjects.    The  guest  had  to  pretend  that  he  was 


shedding  tears.  When  the  crying  had  ceased,  the  male  hosts,  who  had 
affected  indifference,  turned  toward  the  newcomer  and  welcomed  him. 
Any  member  of  the  community  who  had  been  absent,  even  for  a  short 
time,  was  received  with  weeping  when  he  returned.  Chiefs  were  greeted 
with  tears  even  if  they  had  only  walked  to  their  nearby  fields. 

The  mournful  manifestations  by  which  a  returning  traveler  was  greeted 
were  actually  the  reenactment  of  a  funeral  rite  with  which  the  absent 
person  or  the  guest  was  associated. 

LIFE  cycle:    birth,  puberty,  death 

Birth. — When  a  woman  felt  the  first  pangs  of  childbirth,  she  squatted 
on  a  fiat  piece  of  wood  that  leaned  against  the  wall,  or  directly  on  the 
ground.  Women  neighbors  surrounded  her  but  gave  little  assistance.  If 
the  delivery  was  difficult,  the  husband  pressed  on  her  stomach.  In  case 
of  a  male  infant,  the  father  cut  the  umbilicus  with  his  teeth  or  between 
two  stones  and  took  him  up  from  the  ground  in  token  of  recognition. 
The  mother  or  some  close  female  relative  performed  the  operation  on 
female  babies.  The  mother's  brother  took  the  baby  girl  in  his  arms, 
thereby  claiming  her  as  his  future  wife.  After  the  baby  was  washed, 
its  father  or  the  midwife  flattened  its  nose  with  the  thumb,  an  operation 
repeated  later  during  infancy  by  the  mother. 

The  father  took  to  his  hammock  and  lay  in  it  for  several  days,  receiv- 
ing the  visits  of  his  friends,  who  expressed  their  sympathy  for  his  plight. 
The  couvade  lasted  until  the  dry  navel  cord  fell  off.  During  this  period 
the  father  had  to  refrain  from  eating  meat,  fish,  and  salt.  Even  after 
the  confinement,  he  was  not  allowed  to  do  any  hard  work  lest  he  cause 
some  harm  to  the  infant.  For  a  baby  boy,  claws  of  ferocious  animals, 
a  small  bow  and  arrow,  and  a  bundle  of  grass  symbolizing  his  future 
enemies  were  attached  to  his  little  hammock,  which  was  suspended  be- 
tween two  war  clubs.  A  little  girl  was  given  capivara  teeth  to  make 
her  teeth  hard,  a  gourd,  and  cotton  garters. 

In  the  postnatal  period,  the  father  performed  several  magic  rites  to 
make  the  child  successful  during  his  life.  Thus,  he  would  have  a  male 
baby's  sling  caught  in  a  trap  as  if  it  were  some  game.  He  would  shoot 
at  the  sling  with  the  miniature  bow  and  arrows  or  throw  a  fishing  net 
over  it.  When  the  navel  cord  was  dry,  he  sliced  it  into  small  pieces  and 
tied  each  to  one  of  the  main  house  posts  so  th^t  the  child  would  become 
the  progenitor  of  a  numerous  family.  If  the  father  were  absent  or  dead, 
the  same  rites  were  performed  by  the  mother's  brother  or  some  close 
maternal  relative.  Food  taboos  were  imposed  on  the  mother  during  the 
same  period. 

Naming. — The  choice  of  a  name,  a  serious  matter,  was  discussed  at  a 
special  meeting.    Generally,  the  child  received  the  name  of  an  ancestor. 

116  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

a  custom  that  is  probably  connected  with  the  Tupinamba  belief  that  chil- 
dren were  reincarnated  ancestors. 

Childhood. — Boys  were  gradually  weaned  at  the  age  of  4  or  5  years 
(some  authors  say  6  to  7)  and  girls  a  year  later.  From  early  infancy 
children  were  given  solid  food  in  the  form  of  maize,  which  the  mother 
masticated  into  a  pap  and  passed  from  her  mouth  into  the  baby's.  Children, 
male  and  female,  remained  in  close  contact  with  their  mothers  until  the 
age  of  8.  Little  boys,  meanwhile,  were  encouraged  to  practice  archery 
and  to  train  themselves  for  war  and  hunting.  Early  voyagers  report 
unanimously  that  children,  though  never  scolded,  were  well  disciplined. 
Little  is  known  about  early  education.  To  stop  their  babies  from  crying, 
mothers  put  cotton,  feathers,  or  a  piece  of  wood  on  their  heads.  To  ac- 
celerate a  child's  growth,  they  rubbed  it  with  their  hands.  Every  morning 
one  of  the  headmen  went  around  the  village  scratching  the  legs  of  the 
children  to  make  them  obedient.  Naughty  children  were  threatened  with 
the  man  with  the  scratcher. 

At  the  age  of  4  or  5,  young  boys  had  their  lower  lips  pierced  for  a 
labret.  The  operation  was  a  festive  occasion  attended  by  the  members  of 
the  community  and  inhabitants  of  other  friendly  villages.  The  child  was 
expected  not  to  flinch  during  the  operation,  thus  showing  his  fortitude. 
Thereafter,  boys  tied  up  their  prepuce  with  a  cotton  thread. 

Girls*  puberty. — ^A  girl  underwent  a  series  of  severe  ordeals  at  her 
first  menstruation.  With  her  head  carefully  shaven,  she  had  to  stand  on 
a  whetstone  while  geometric  designs  were  cut  on  her  back  with  a  sharp 
rodent  tooth.  Ashes  of  a  wild  gourd  rubbed  in  the  wounds  left  indelible 
tattoo  marks.  This  scarification  had  to  be  endured  without  crying.  Then 
the  girl  lay  in  her  hammock,  concealed  from  sight,  and  observed  a  strict 
fast  for  3  days.  She  must  not  touch  the  ground  with  her  feet  nor  leave 
the  hammock  until  her  second  menstruation.  Meanwhile,  if  she  had  to 
go  outside  the  hut,  she  was  carried  on  her  mother's  shoulders.  At  her 
second  menstruation,  she  received  additional  tattoo  marks  on  the  breasts, 
stomach,  and  buttocks.  Henceforward,  she  might  work  but  was  not 
permitted  to  leave  the  house  or  to  speak.  Only  after  the  third  period  was 
she  free  to  go  to  the  fields  and  resume  her  normal  occupations. 

Adulthood. — After  puberty,  girls  could  indulge  freely  in  sexual  prac- 
tices until  marriage.  Any  girl  who  lost  her  virginity  had  to  break  a 
string  she  wore  around  her  waist  and  arms  after  her  first  menstruation. 
Premarital  chastity  was  expected  of  a  girl  betrothed  to  a  chief  and  brought 
up  in  his  house  from  childhood.  Chiefs'  infant  brides,  however,  might 
stay  at  home  until  coming  of  age.  No  young  man  could  marry  or  even 
have  sexual  relations,  according  to  Cardim  (1939),  before  he  had  killed 
one  or  two  prisoners,  for  the  sons  of  a  man  who  had  not  shed  the  blood 
of  his  enemies  were  thought  to  be  cowardly  and  lazy.  This  restriction  or 
a  young  man's  sexual  life  could  be  obviated,  perhaps  long  before  he  had 


been  to  war,  if  his  father  or  uncle  gave  him  a  prisoner  to  sacrifice.  Men 
married  at  about  the  age  of  25. 

After  40  a  man  was  an  "elder"  and  did  no  hard  work.  He  spoke  in 
council.   Very  old  men  were  respected  and  treated  courteously. 

Death. — A  sick  person  who  seemed  doomed  to  death  was  ignored  and 
abandoned.  But  at  the  moment  of  his  last  breath  his  relatives  surrounded 
him  and  displayed  the  most  spectacular  forms  of  grief.  They  threw  them- 
selves on  his  body  or  on  the  ground  and  burst  into  tears.  Ritual  laments 
and  shedding  of  tears  were  restricted  to  women,  especially  old  women,  and 
occasionally  old  men.  The  head  of  the  extended  family  or  the  women  of 
the  long  house  praised  the  deceased  by  stressing  his  courage  at  war  and  his 
hunting  or  fishing  skill.  These  funeral  orations  were  interrupted  by  sighs 
and  cries. 

In  general,  the  Tupinamba  were  in  such  haste  to  bury  their  dead  that 
often  the  dying  man  was  still  alive  when  placed  in  the  earth  (fig.  11,  top). 
The  grave  was  dug  by  the  deceased's  nearest  male  relatives.  The  corpse 
was  wrapped  in  a  hammock  or  tied  by  cords  in  a  foetal  position  and 
squeezed  into  a  big  beer  jar  that  was  covered  with  a  clay  bowl.  Some 
food  was  placed  in  the  grave  and  a  fire  was  built  in  its  vicinity  to  keep  bad 
spirits  away.  The  head  of  a  family  was  buried  in  the  long  house  under 
the  quarters  he  had  occupied  during  life,  but  there  were  many  exceptions 
to  this  rule,  according  to  the  age  and  preferences  of  the  dead  man.  If 
the  corpse  were  buried  in  the  open,  a  small  hut  was  erected  upon  the 
grave.  Urn  burial,  though  common,  was  not  always  practiced.  When 
buried  directly  in  the  earth,  the  body  was  protected  against  direct  contact 
with  the  soil  by  lining  the  grave  walls  with  sticks. 

Female  mourners  cut  their  hair,  whereas  men  let  theirs  grow  on 
their  shaven  foreheads.  Both  sexes  painted  their  bodies  black  with 
genipa.  Mourning  women  wailed  for  many  days  after  a  burial  and 
went  at  times  to  the  grave  to  ask  the  whereabouts  of  the  departed 
soul.  Other  women  of  the  community  who  visited  them  assisted  in 
their  ritual  laments.  The  mourning  period  lasted  1  to  6  months  and 
was  strictly  observed  by  the  parents,  siblings,  children,  and  wife  of 
the  deceased.  No  widow  could  remarry  before  her  hair  had  reached 
the  level  of  her  eyes.  Before  resuming  normal  life,  each  mourner  enter- 
tained his  family  and  friends  at  a  drinking  bout  with  much  singing  and 
dancing,  at  which  time  widows  and  widowers  cut  their  hair  and  painted 
themselves  black. 

After  death  the  souls  of  gallant  warriors  killed  in  battle  or  eaten  by 
their  enemies  went  to  a  beautiful  land  in  the  west  where  they  enjoyed 
the  company  of  the  mythical  "grandfather"  and  of  their  dead  ancestors. 
They  lived  there  happily  and  made  merry  forever.  Access  to  this  paradise 
was  forbidden  to  cowards  and  to  women,  except  the  wives  of  renowned 



Figure  n.—Tupinamba  burial  and  cultivation.  Top:  Burial  ceremonies  within  a  pali- 
saded village.  Bottom:  Planting  and  harvesting  of  manioc.  (After  Staden,  1557.) 



Religious  and  social  values  of  high  importance  clustered  around  war 
and  the  closely  connected  practice  of  cannibalism.  Prestige  and  political 
power  were  derived  mainly  from  the  ritual  slaughtering  of  prisoners, 
which  was  so  far  reaching  in  its  influence  that  it  even  affected  sexual 
life.  The  Tupinambafs  excessive  interest  in  ritual  cannibalism  contrib- 
uted toward  keeping  the  different  tribes  and  even  local  communities  in  a 
constant  state  of  warfare  and  was  one  of  the  chief  causes  of  their  ready 
subjection  by  Europeans.  Their  mutual  hatred  of  one  another,  born 
of  a  desire  to  avenge  the  insult  of  cannibalism,  was  so  great  that  the 
Tupinamba  groups  always  willingly  marched  with  the  White  invaders 
against  their  local  rivals.  Their  bellicose  disposition  and  craving  for 
human  flesh  loom  large  in  many  aspects  of  their  culture,  such  as  educa- 
tion, oratory,  poetry,  and  religion.  The  rites  and  festivities  that  marked 
the  execution  of  a  prisoner  and  the  consumption  of  his  body  were  joyful 
events  which  provided  these  Indians  with  the  opportunity  for  merry- 
making, esthetic  displays,  and  other  emotional  outlets. 

The  Tupinamba  went  to  war  only  with  the  certainty  of  victory,  which 
they  derived  from  the  interpretation  of  dreams  and  from  ritualistic 
performances  such  as  dancing  and  reciting  charms.  When  marching 
toward  the  enemy,  they  paid  special  attention  to  any  omen  and  to  dreams. 
The  slightest  bad  omen  was  sufficient  to  stop  the  expedition:  once  a 
party  of  warriors  that  had  almost  taken  a  village  retreated  because  of  a 
few  words  uttered  by  a  parrot. 

Besides  arrows  and  bows,  Tupinamba  weapons  included  a  hardwood 
club  with  a  shape  unique  in  South  America.  It  consisted  of  two  parts : 
a  long,  rounded  handle  and  a  flattened,  round,  or  oval  blade  with  sharp 
edges.  The  only  defensive  weapon  was  a  shield  of  tapir  hide.  Warriors 
donned  their  best  feather  ornaments  and  painted  their  bodies.  Men  of 
importance  were  followed  by  their  wives,  who  carried  hammocks  and 
food  for  them.  The  advancing  army  was  accompanied  by  musical  in- 
struments. Whenever  possible,  they  used  canoes  to  avoid  long  marches. 
The  chief  always  headed  the  column,  which  was  disposed  in  one  line. 
Scouts  reconnoitered  the  country.  At  night  the  warriors  camped  near 
a  river  and  built  small  huts  in  a  row  along  a  path. 

The  proper  time  to  assault  the  enemy  village  was  chosen  cautiously. 
As  a  rule,  they  stormed  it  at  night  or  at  dawn,  when  least  expected.  When 
prevented  by  a  stockade  from  entering  a  village  immediately,  they  built 
another  palisade  of  thorny  bushes  around  the  village  and  started  a  siege. 
One  tactic  was  to  set  fire  to  the  enemy  houses  with  incendiary  arrows. 
Sometimes  they  slowly  moved  their  fence  close  to  the  opposite  wall  so 
that  they  could  fight  at  close  range. 

The  Tupinamba  fought  with  courage  and  determination  but  without 
much  order  as  they  did  not  obey  any  command  during  the  battle.    They 

120  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

opened  the  attack  by  shooting  arrows  (fig.  12,  left),  hopping  about  with 
great  agiHty  from  one  spot  to  another  to  prevent  the  enemy  from  aiming 
or  shooting  at  any  definite  individual.  Amid  ferocious  howls,  they 
rushed  against  their  opponents  to  strike  them  with  their  clubs,  trying  to 
take  prisoners,  one  of  the  main  purposes  of  the  war.  Because  it  was 
difficult  to  seize  an  enemy  without  the  assistance  of  several  persons,  it 
was  an  established  rule  that  the  prisoner  belonged  to  the  first  man  to 
touch  him.  When  a  man  was  disarmed,  the  victor  touched  him  on  the 
shoulder  and  said,  "You  are  my  prisoner."  Thereafter,  the  man  was 
his  slave.  Those  who  remained  in  possession  of  the  battlefield  would 
roast  the  corpses  and  bring  back  the  heads  and  the  sexual  organs  of  the 

The  long  set  of  cannibalistic  rites  and  practices  began  immediately 
after  the  capture  of  a  prisoner.  On  the  way  home,  the  victorious  party 
exhibited  their  captives  in  friendly  villages,  where  they  were  subjected 
to  "gross  insults  and  vituperation."  The  latter  retaliated  by  expressing 
their  contempt  for  their  victors  and  their  pride  at  being  eaten  as  befitted 
the  brave. 

Before  entering  their  masters'  village,  the  prisoners  were  dressed  as 
Tupinamba,  with  foreheads  shaven,  feathers  glued  to  their  bodies,  and  a 
decoration  of  feather  ornaments.  They  were  taken  to  the  graves  of  the 
recently  deceased  of  the  community  and  compelled  to  "renew,"  that  is, 
clean  them.  Later  they  received  the  hammocks,  ornaments,  and  weapons 
of  the  dead,  which  had  to  be  used  before  they  could  be  reappropriated 
by  the  heirs.  The  reason  for  this  custom  was  that  touching  the  belong- 
ings of  a  dead  relative  was  fraught  with  danger,  unless  they  were  first 
defiled  by  a  captive. 

When  the  prisoners  were  taken  into  the  village,  women  flocked  around 
them,  snatched  them  from  the  hands  of  the  men,  and  accompanied  them, 
celebrating  their  capture  with  songs,  dances  (fig.  12,  right),  and  refer- 
ences to  the  day  of  their  execution.  They  forced  the  prisoners  to  dance 
in  front  of  the  hut  where  the  sacred  rattles  were  kept. 

After  this  hostile  reception,  the  prisoners'  condition  changed  for  the 
better.  Their  victors  often  gave  them  to  a  son  or  some  other  relative, 
who  had  the  privilege  of  slaughtering  them  and  acquiring  new  names — 
one  of  the  greatest  distinctions  which  a  Tupinamba  coveted.  The  pris- 
oners were  also  traded  for  feathers  or  other  ornaments.  In  many  cases, 
the  only  outward  sign  of  the  prisoner's  status  was  a  cotton  rope  tied 
around  his  neck,  which,  according  to  some  sources,  was  a  symbolical  neck- 
lace strung  with  as  many  beads  as  he  had  months  to  live  until  his  execution. 
The  captives  were  in  no  way  hampered  in  their  movements;  they  knew 
perfectly  well  that  there  was  no  place  to  which  they  could  escape,  for 
their  own  groups,  far  from  welcoming  them,  would  even  have  killed 
any  member  who  attempted  to  return.    On  the  other  hand,  to  be  killed 

Vol.  3] 



122  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

ceremonially  and  then  eaten  was  the  fate  for  which  any  brave  longed 
once  he  had  lost  his  liberty.  Nothing  would  have  reminded  a  prisoner  of 
his  impending  death  if,  on  certain  occasions,  he  had  not  been  exhibited 
in  public  and  again  exposed  to  jeers  and  provocations.  At  drinking  bouts, 
portions  of  his  body  were  allotted  beforehand  to  the  carousers,  each  of 
whom — in  the  victim's  presence — learned  the  part  he  was  to  receive  at 
the  ceremonial  execution. 

The  village  council  chose  the  date  of  execution  and  sent  invitations  to 
friendly  communities.  Preparations  for  the  sacrifice  started  a  long  time 
in  advance.  Certain  accessories,  like  the  plaited  rope  with  which  the 
victim  was  fastened,  required  a  long  time  to  make.  Great  quantities  of 
beer  also  had  to  be  brewed  for  the  occasion. 

The  prisoner  feigned  indifference  toward  these  signs  of  his  threatening 
fate.  In  certain  villages  he  was  tied  up,  but  then  he  indulged  freely  in 
all  sorts  of  mischief  to  revenge  his  death.  The  rites  observed  in  these 
cases  started  after  the  arrival  of  the  guests  and  lasted  3  to  5  days. 

On  the  first  day  the  cord  was  bleached  and  artfully  knotted,  the  prisoner 
was  painted  black,  green  eggshells  were  pasted  on  his  face,  and  red 
feathers  were  glued  on  his  body.  The  executioners  also  decorated  their 
own  persons  with  feathers  and  paint.  Old  women  spent  the  first  night 
in  the  hut  of  the  captive  singing  songs  depicting  his  fate.  On  the  second 
day  they  made  a  bonfire  in  the  middle  of  the  plaza,  and  men  and  women 
danced  around  the  flames  while  the  prisoner  pelted  them  with  anything 
he  could  reach.  The  only  ceremony  of  the  third  day  was  a  dance  accom- 
panied by  trumpets.  The  day  before  the  execution  the  prisoner  was  given 
a  chance  to  escape  but  was  immediately  pursued.  The  person  who  over- 
took and  overpowered  him  in  a  wrestling  combat  adopted  a  new  name, 
as  did  the  ceremonial  executioner.  The  ritual  rope  was  passed  round  the 
prisoner's  neck,  the  end  being  held  by  a  woman.  The  prisoner  was  then 
given  fruits  or  other  missiles  to  throw  at  passers-by.  Festivities  began 
that  night.  The  prisoner  was  often  requested  to  dance.  Apparently  he 
did  so  without  reluctance  and  took  part  in  the  general  rejoicing  as  if  he 
were  merely  a  guest.  He  even  regarded  his  position  as  enviable,  for 
"it  was  an  honor  to  die  as  a  great  warrior  during  dancing  and  drinking." 
The  prisoner  spent  the  remainder  of  his  last  night  in  a  special  hut  under 
the  surveillance  of  women,  singing  a  song  in  which  he  foretold  the  ruin  of 
his  enemies  and  proclaimed  his  pride  at  dying  as  a  warrior.  His  only 
food  was  a  nut  that  prevented  his  bleeding  too  much.  The  same  night  the 
club  to  be  used  for  the  sacrifice  received  special  treatment.  It  was  deco- 
rated, like  the  prisoner  himself,  with  green  eggshells  glued  on  the  wood, 
the  handle  was  trimmed  with  tassels  and  feathers  (figs.  7,  right;  9,  right) 
and  finally,  it  was  suspended  from  the  roof  of  a  hut,  women  dancing  and 
singing  around  it  during  the  entire  night  (fig.  13,  left). 

Vol.  3] 





The  following  morning  the  prisoner  was  dragged  to  the  plaza  by  some 
old  women  amid  cries,  songs,  and  music.  The  rope  was  taken  from  his 
neck,  passed  round  his  waist,  and  held  at  both  ends  by  two  or  more  men 
(fig.  13,  right).  Again  he  was  allowed  to  give  vent  to  his  feelings  by 
throwing  fruits  or  potsherds  at  his  enemies.  He  was  surrounded  by 
women  who  vied  in  their  insults.  Old  v/omen,  painted  black  and  red,  with 
necklaces  of  human  teeth,  darted  out  of  their  huts  carrying  newly  painted 
vases  to  receive  the  victim's  blood  and  entrails.  A  fire  was  lit  and  the 
ceremonial  club  was  shown  to  the  captive.  Every  man  present  handled 
the  club  for  a  while,  thus  acquiring  the  power  to  catch  a  prisoner  in  the 
future.  Then  the  executioner  appeared  in  full  array,  painted  and  covered 
with  a  long  feather  cloak.  He  was  followed  by  relatives  who  sang  and 
beat  drums.  Their  bodies,  like  that  of  the  executioner,  were  smeared  with 
white  ashes.  The  club  was  handed  to  the  executioner  by  a  famous  old 
warrior,  who  performed  a  few  ritual  gestures  with  it.  Then  the  execu- 
tioner and  his  victim  harangued  each  other.  The  executioner  derided  the 
prisoner  for  his  imminent  death,  while  the  latter  foretold  the  vengeance 
that  his  relatives  would  take  and  boasted  of  his  past  deeds.  The  captive 
showed  despondency  only  if  his  executioner,  instead  of  being  an  experi- 
enced warrior,  was  merely  a  young  man  who  had  never  been  on  the 
battlefield.  The  execution  itself  was  a  cruel  game.  Enough  liberty  was 
allowed  the  prisoner  to  dodge  the  blows,  and  sometimes  a  club  was  put 
in  his  hands  so  that  he  could  parry  them  without  being  able  to  strike. 
When  at  last  he  fell  down,  his  skull  shattered,  everybody  shouted  and 
v/histled.  The  position  of  the  body  was  interpreted  as  an  omen  for  the 
executioner.  The  prisoner's  wife  shed  a  few  tears  over  his  body  and  then 
joined  in  the  cannibalistic  banquet. 

Old  women  rushed  to  drink  the  warm  blood,  and  children  were  invited 
to  dip  their  hands  in  it.  Mothers  would  smear  their  nipples  with  blood  so 
that  even  babies  could  have  a  taste  of  it.  The  body,  cut  into  quarters,  was 
roasted  on  a  barbecue  (fig.  14),  and  the  old  women,  who  were  the  most 
eager  for  human  flesh,  licked  the  grease  running  along  the  sticks.  Some 
portions,  reputed  to  be  delicacies  or  sacred,  such  as  the  fingers  or  the 
grease  around  the  liver  or  heart,  were  allotted  to  distinguished  guests. 

As  soon  as  the  executioner  had  killed  the  victim,  he  had  to  run  quickly 
to  his  hut,  which  he  entered  passing  between  the  string  and  the  stave 
of  a  stretched  bow.  Indoors  he  continued  running  to  and  fro  as  if 
escaping  from  his  victim's  ghost.  Meanwhile  his  sisters  and  cousins 
went  through  the  village  proclaiming  his  new  name.  On  this  occasion, 
the  male  and  female  relatives  of  his  generation  also  had  to  take  new  names. 
The  members  of  the  community  then  rushed  into  the  killer's  hut  and 
looted  all  his  goods,  while  the  killer  himself  stood  on  wooden  pestles, 
where  the  eye  of  his  victim  was  shown  to  him  and  rubbed  against  his 
wrist.     The  lips  of  the  dead  man  were  sometimes  given  to  him  to  wear 

Vol.  3] 



Figure  14. — Tupinamba  cannibalism.    (After  Staden,  1557.) 

126  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

as  a  bracelet.  However,  his  flesh  was  strictly  taboo  to  the  killer.  After 
this  the  executioner  had  to  recline  in  a  hammock  until  the  hair  on  his 
shaved  forehead  had  grown  again.  During  seclusion,  he  entertained  him- 
self by  shooting  miniature  arrows  at  a  wax  figure.  For  3  days  he  might 
not  walk  but  was  carried  whenever  he  needed  to  leave  the  hut.  He  also 
avoided  several  foods,  especially  condiments.  His  return  to  normal  life 
was  celebrated  by  a  big  drinking  bout,  at  which  the  killer  tattooed  himself 
by  slashing  his  body  in  different  patterns  with  an  agouti  tooth — the  more 
tattooing  marks  a  man  could  exhibit  the  higher  was  his  prestige.  Even 
after  the  feast  he  was  subject  to  a  few  more  restrictions  before  he  was 
again  a  full-fledged  member  of  the  community. 

The  same  rites  were  practiced  if,  instead  of  a  man,  a  jaguar  had  been 
killed.  Later,  when  the  Tupinamba  could  no  longer  sacrifice  their  war 
prisoners,  they  would  open  the  graves  of  their  enemies  and  break  the 
skulls  with  the  same  ceremonies.  The  heads  of  dead  enemies  were 
pinned  to  the  ends  of  the  stockade  posts. 


Dances. — Ceremonial  dances  are  described  as  a  monotonous  but  ener- 
getic stamping  on  the  ground  by  a  group  of  men  standing  in  a  circle,  with 
their  bodies  bent  slightly  downward  and  their  hands  hanging  by  their 
sides  or  laid  on  their  buttocks.  The  dancers  remained  on  the  same  spot, 
except  for  occasional  steps  forward  and  backward  and  for  rotation.  Some- 
times they  shook  their  heads  and  made  rhythmical  gestures  with  their 
arms.  Dancers  were  accompanied  by  songs,  the  time  being  marked  by 
shaking  rattles  or  jingling  dry  fruits  that  the  dancers  wore  tied  round  their 
legs.  The  rhythm  was  also  given  by  beating  drums  or  by  pounding  the 
ground  with  a  wooden  tube.  As  a  rule,  men  danced  separately  from 
women,  whose  movements  are  said  to  have  been  more  violent  and  exag- 
gerated than  those  of  the  other  sex.  Profane  dances  were  distinguished 
by  a  greater  freedom  of  motion  and  by  their  orgiastic  character.  Men  and 
women  lost  control  of  themselves,  and  their  dances  consisted  of  wild 
jumping  and  running  to  and  fro. 

Songs. — Tupinamba  songs  have  received  much  praise.  Singers  started 
softly  and  then  gradually  sang  louder  and  louder.    Cardim  says. 

They  keep  among  themselves  differences  of  voices  in  their  consort :  and  ordinarily 
the  women  sing  the  treble,  the  counter  and  tenor.    [Cardim,  1939,  p.  155.] 

The  songs  were  started  by  a  choirmaster  who  sang  a  couplet ;  the  refrain 
was  repeated  by  the  whole  group.  The  words  of  these  songs  refer  to 
mythical  events,  especially  to  wars  and  the  heroic  deeds  of  the  ancestors. 
The  numerous  and  graceful  allusions  to  nature  were  similes.  Good  com- 
posers enjoyed  such  prestige  that  if  taken  prisoner  they  were  released  even 
by  their  bitterest  enemies. 


Musical  instruments. — When  carousing  or  expressing  strong  feelings 
collectively,  the  Tupinamba  blew  trumpets  or  played  flutes.  The  trumpets 
were  conch  shells  with  a  perforated  hole,  or  a  wooden  or  bamboo  tube,  on 
one  end  of  which  a  calabash  served  to  amplify  the  sound.  Flutes  were 
made  of  bamboo  or  of  the  long  bones  of  slain  enemies.  Drums,  made  of  a 
piece  of  wood  hollowed  by  fire,  were  small.  Rattles  have  been  mentioned 
above.  The  time  of  the  dances  was  beaten  with  a  stamping  tube,  a  thick 
bamboo  stick  4  to  5  feet  (1.2  to  1.5  m.)  long  that  was  pounded  on  the 
ground.  On  their  feet  the  dancers  wore  jingles  made  of  fruit  shells  of 
Thevetia  ahouai  (Metraux,  1928  a,  pp.  214-217). 

Narcotics. — Smoking  was  one  of  the  favorite  pastimes  in  daily  life  as 
well  as  on  ceremonial  occasions.  Tobacco  leaves  were  dried  in  a  hut,  then 
wrapped  in  a  leaf  to  form  a  huge  cylindrical  or  conical  cigarette.  Long 
tubular  bamboo  pipes  were  used  exclusively  by  shamans  in  magical  per- 
formances. Stone  pipes,  found  in  several  points  of  the  Brazilian  coast, 
perhaps  belong  to  another  culture  anterior  to  that  of  the  Tupi. 

Alcoholic  beverages. — All  social  events  were  occasions  for  drinking 
bouts,  at  which  great  quantities  of  beer  were  consumed.  The  preparation 
of  large  amounts  of  fermented  beverages  for  these  feasts  was  a  heavy  task 
for  the  women,  and  was  one  reason  for  the  polygyny  of  chiefs.  Liquors 
were  made  from  different  plants :  sweet  manioc,  maize,  sweet  potatoes, 
mangabeira  {Hancornia  speciosa),  cashew,  Jaboticaba  {Myrciaria  cauli- 
flora) ,  pineapples,  bananas,  and  also  beiju  wafers  and  honey.  Manioc  beer, 
the  favorite  drink,  was  prepared  as  follows :  The  roots,  cut  into  thin  slices, 
were  first  boiled,  then  squeezed  and  partly  chewed  by  young  girls.  The 
mass,  impregnated  with  saliva,  was  mixed  with  water  and  heated  again  over 
the  fire.  The  liquid  was  afterward  poured  into  huge  jars,  half  buried  in  the 
ground,  covered  with  leaves,  and  left  2  or  3  days  to  ferment.  A  fire  was 
built  around  the  jars  to  warm  the  beverage  before  serving  it.  Each  ex- 
tended family  manufactured  its  own  liquor.  When  a  bout  was  organized, 
drinkers  went  successively  to  each  hut,  exhausting  the  available  supply. 
The  women  served  the  liquors  in  huge  calabashes.  Old  men  and  guests 
of  honor  were  served  first  by  the  host's  closest  female  relatives.  Drinking 
was  always  the  occasion  for  riotous  merrymaking.  Men  and  women, 
painted  and  covered  with  their  more  showy  ornaments,  danced,  shouted, 
whistled,  played  musical  instruments,  talked  excessively,  and  brawled. 
These  orgies  lasted  for  3  or  4  days,  during  which  nobody  ate  or  slept  much. 


Supernatural  beings. — The  supernatural  powers,  by  whom  the  Tupi- 
namba felt  themselves  surrounded,  may  be  classified  into  two  groups :  ( 1 ) 
individualized  spirits,  generally  malevolent,  which  we  may  call  demons  or 
genii;  (2)  ghosts.  The  latter,  by  far  the  more  numerous,  differed  from 
the  former  in  having  a  much  more  impersonal  nature. 

128  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  demon  of  Thunder,  Tupa,  a  secondary  character  in  the  early  myth- 
ology, had  as  his  main  function  to  go  "from  east  to  west  causing  thunder, 
lightning,  and  rain."  After  White  contact,  this  simple  demon  was  pro- 
moted to  the  rank  of  the  Christian  God  and  as  such  still  survives  among  the 
Tupi-spe3.king  Mestizos. 

The  bush  was  peopled  by  a  number  of  greatly  feared  demons,  who  are 
still  active  in  the  folklore  of  modern  Brazil.  The  most  famous  of  these 
were  Yurupari,  Aiiaii,  and  Kuru-pira.  Yurupari  and  Afiafi  were  syn- 
onyms, employed  respectively  by  the  northern  and  southern  Tupinamba. 
Missionaries  and  travelers,  however,  often  confused  them  with  ordinary 
ghosts ;  they  either  refer  to  them  rightly  as  single  demons  or  use  these 
names  collectively  to  designate  the  whole  host  of  spirits.  Just  as  Tupa 
was  identified  with  God,  Yurupari  was  equated  to  the  Devil.  The  Caboclos 
of  Brazil  describe  him  as  a  goblin,  an  ogre  that  haunts  the  forests  and  is 
generally  malicious.  The  same  confusion  arose  about  Aiiafi,  who  at  one 
time  is  called  a  bush  spirit  and  at  another,  some  ghost.  Kuru-pira,  scarcely 
mentioned  by  the  early  sources,  is  the  hero  of  countless  tales  among  the 
present-day  Tupi.  He  is  depicted  as  a  goblin  with  upturned  feet,  figures 
as  the  protector  of  game,  and  is  rather  ill-disposed  toward  mankind.  Other 
spirits,  such  as  Makashera,  Uaiupia,  Taguaigba,  Igpupiara,  and  Mbae-tate 
(will-o'-the-wisp) ,  are  scarcely  alluded  to  in  the  literature. 

The  world  as  conceived  by  the  Tupinamba  was  the  abode  of  innumerable 
ghosts  who  could  be  met  everywhere,  but  especially  in  the  woods,  in  all 
dark  places,  and  in  the  neighborhood  of  graves.  These  supernatural 
beings  were  often  harmful :  they  caused  disease,  droughts,  and  defeat.  The 
Tupinamba  often  complained  of  being  attacked  and  tormented  by  them. 
Some  ghosts  took  the  form  of  awe-inspiring  animals,  such  as  black  birds, 
bats,  and  salamanders.  Others,  more  tenuous,  changed  colors.  These 
spirits  were  particularly  obnoxious  in  the  dark  but  could  be  driven  away 
by  the  fire  kept  burning  all  night  in  Tupinamba  quarters.  No  Indian 
would  travel  after  sunset  without  a  torch  or  a  firebrand  lest  he  be  harmed 
by  the  evil  spirits.  So  great  was  their  fear  of  these  that  they  even  asked 
White  people  to  settle  in  their  village  in  order  to  keep  the  spirits  in  check. 

Ceremonialism. — Many  details  point  to  cults  centering  around  the 
supernatural  beings  described  above,  who  were  symbolized  by  small  posts 
sometimes  provided  with  a  cross  bar  from  which  painted  images  were 
suspended.  Small  offerings,  such  as  feathers,  flowers,  or  perhaps  food, 
were  deposited  near  them.  Spirits  were  also  represented  by  calabashes 
painted  with  human  features.  Such  figures  often  appeared  in  the  cere- 
monies of  shamans,  who  burned  tobacco  leaves  in  them  and  inhaled  the 
smoke  to  induce  trances.  Maize  kernels  were  put  in  the  mouths  of  these 
sacred  effigies,  which  had  movable  jaws  so  as  to  imitate  mastication.  The 
grains  thus  consecrated  were  sown  in  the  fields,  and  were  expected  to 
produce  a  good  crop.    The  rattles  (maracas),  which  were  highly  sacred 


objects  profusely  decorated  with  paintings  and  feather  tufts,  are  difficult 
to  differentiate  from  these  idols.  There  is  a  single  statement  that  seems  to 
indicate  that  the  Tupinamba  also  worshiped  wax  images  kept  in  special 

Rattles  were  the  accessories  of  all  ceremonial  activities  (fig.  15),  but 
seem  to  have  been  used  only  if  previously  consecrated  by  a  shaman,  who 
attracted  a  helpful  spirit  into  them.  Every  year  the  villages  were  visited 
by  shamans  (called  pay)  endowed  with  power  to  cause  all  the  rattling 
maracas  chosen  by  them  to  speak  and  grow  so  powerful  that  they  could 
grant  whatever  was  required  of  them.  All  rattles  were  presented  to  the 
shamans,  who  conferred  upon  them  the  "power  of  speech"  by  fumigating 
them  and  uttering  charms.  Then  the  shamans  exhorted  the  owners  of  the 
rattles  to  go  to  war  and  take  prisoners  to  be  devoured,  for  the  "spirits  in 
the  rattles  craved  the  flesh  of  captives." 

These  rattles,  after  the  ceremony,  became  sacred  objects  taboo  to  women. 
They  were  placed  in  a  sort  of  temple  and  received  offerings  of  food  when 
asked  to  grant  a  favor.  The  spirits  who  had  taken  their  abode  in  the  rattles 
advised  their  owners  and  revealed  future  events  to  them.  After  a  vic- 
torious expedition,  they  were  thanked  for  their  assistance. 

Shamanism. — The  intermediaries  between  the  community  and  the 
supernatural  world  were  the  shamans.  All  the  chiefs  or  old  men  were 
more  or  less  conversant  with  magic,  but  only  those  who  had  given  some 
evidence  of  unusual  power  were  regarded  as  real  medicine  men.  Their 
reputation  depended  mainly  on  the  accuracy  of  their  prophecies  and  the 
success  of  their  cures.  Those  who  had  achieved  fame  were  known  as 
karai  or  pay-wasu,  "great  medicine  men."  When  a  man  was  about  to 
obtain  great  magical  power,  he  would  shun  people,  go  into  seclusion,  fast, 
and  then  return  to  announce  that  he  had  come  in  close  touch  with  the 
spirits.  The  shamans  were  rain  makers,  diviners,  and,  above  all,  healers. 
They  had  at  their  service  a  familiar  spirit,  sometimes  in  animal  shape, 
who  would  follow  them  and  even  perform  menial  tasks  for  them.  The 
medicine  men  relied  on  these  spirits  when  requested  to  accomplish  some 
difficult  task,  for  instance,  to  gather  rain  clouds.  They  also  consulted 
them  as  to  the  issue  of  some  important  enterprise  or  about  distant  events. 
The  shaman  sought  interviews  with  the  spirits  after  9  days  of  continence, 
shutting  himself  up  in  a  secluded  cabin  and  drinking  beer  prepared  by 
young  virgins.  Questions  were  asked  the  spirits  by  the  community,  but  the 
"whistled"  answers  were  given  to  the  shamans.  Some  medicine  men 
traveled  to  the  land  of  the  spirits,  where  they  had  long  talks  with  the  dead. 

Shamans  as  a  rule  were  men,  but  a  few  women  could  prophesy  after 
they  had  put  themselves  into  a  trance,  and  some  old  women,  said  to  be 
possessed  by  spirits,  practiced  medicine. 

A  shaman's  breath  was  loaded  with  magic  power  that  was  greatly  rein- 
forced with  tobacco  smoke.    Often  the  shaman  was  asked  to  transfer  part 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

of  his  "virtue"  to  the  body  of  some  cHent  or  disciple.  Persons  favored 
in  that  way  started  to  tremble.  General  confessions  of  transgressions  were 
imposed  by  shamans  on  women  in  circumstances  that  are  not  explained. 
Ritual  lustrations  also  were  performed  by  medicine  men. 

Figure  15. — Tupinamba  shamans  wearing  feather  cloaks  and  carrying  rattles. 
(After  Metraux,  1928  a.) 

The  shamans,  once  recognized  as  such,  enjoyed  considerable  prestige, 
being  addressed  with  respect  even  by  chiefs.  Wherever  they  traveled  they 
were  welcomed  with  fasts  and  rejoicing.  They  inspired  such  fear  that 
nobody  dared  gainsay  them  or  refuse  their  requests.  Some  shamans  rose 
to  political  power,  exercising  unchallenged  authority  in  their  communities 
or  even  in  large  districts. 

Medicine. — To  cure  sick  people,  shamans  resorted  to  the  classic  methods 
of  sucking  and  blowing  tobacco  smoke  over  the  body  of  the  patient.  They 
extracted  objects  considered  the  cause  of  the  ailment.  Female  shamans 
removed  the  disease  by  sucking  a  thread  which  had  been  put  in  contact 
with  the  patient's  body.  Medicinal  virtues  were  attributed  to  genipa  paint, 
which  was  used  freely  for  many  diseases.  Headaches  and  fevers  were 
treated  by  scarification.  Wounded  people  were  stretched  on  a  barbecue, 
under  which  a  slow  fire  was  lighted,  and  roasted  until  their  wounds  dried. 
A  great  many  medicinal  herbs  are  enumerated  in  early  descriptions  of 


the  Brazilian  coast,  but  it  is  stated  only  rarely  whether  the  plants  actually 
were  used  by  the  Indians  for  medical  purposes,  or  whether  they  had  been 
adopted  by  early  European  colonists,  who  were  extremely  eager  to  discover 
miraculous  virtues  in  the  Brazilian  flora. 

Revivalism. — In  the  years  that  followed  Portuguese  colonization  of 
Brazil,  the  Tupinamba  were  stirred  by  religious  crises  that  have  some 
analogy  with  the  revivalistic  or  messianic  movements  occurring  in  other 
parts  of  the  world,  especially  among  some  North  American  tribes. 
Prophets  or  messiahs  arose  among  them  promising  a  golden  age  in  which 
digging  sticks  would  till  the  soil  by  themselves  and  arrows  would  kill  the 
game  without  intervention  of  hunters.  The  Indians  were  assured  of  im- 
mortality and  eternal  youth.  The  followers  of  the  messiahs  gave  up  their 
usual  activities,  dedicated  themselves  to  constant  dancing,  and  even  started 
mass  migrations  to  reach  the  mythical  land  of  the  culture  hero.  Several 
of  the  late  Tupinamba  migrations  were  caused  by  the  urge  to  enter  the 
promised  land  as  soon  as  possible.  The  leaders  of  these  religious  move- 
ments were  in  many  cases  deified.  Certain  traits  of  their  personality 
suggest  that  they  represent  a  new  type  of  wonder-worker,  who  had  been 
influenced  both  by  the  early  traditions  of  their  tribes  and  by  Christian  ideas 
preached  to  the  Indians  by  the  Catholic  missionaries.  Similar  crises  oc- 
curred in  modern  times  among  the  southern  Tupi  of  Paraguay  and  Brazil. 
A  comparison  between  the  ancient  and  the  modern  messianic  outbursts 
shows  remarkable  similarities. 

These  beliefs  were  closely  associated  with  the  cosmology.  The  Tupi- 
namba established  a  correlation  between  the  eclipses  and  the  end  of  the 
world,  which  marked  the  beginning  of  a  new  era  of  peace  and  happiness. 
Whenever  an  eclipse  occurred,  the  men  chanted  a  hymn  hailing  the  mythi- 
cal "grandfather,"  and  the  women  and  children  moaned,  throwing  them- 
selves to  the  ground  in  the  utmost  despair. 


Important  fragments  of  Tupinamba  mythology  have  come  down  to  us 
through  the  French  friar,  Andre  Thevet  (who  visited  Brazil  in  1555). 
The  main  characters  are  represented  by  a  set  of  culture  heroes  listed  under 
the  names  of  Monan,  Maira-monan,  Maira-pochy,  Mairata,  and  Sume,  all 
of  which  may  well  be  synonyms  for  a  single  figure :  the  Tamoi  or  Mythical 
Grandfather.  The  culture  hero,  Monan,  though  an  exalted  creator,  does 
not  rank  strictly  as  a  god  because  he  was  not  worshiped.  Even  his  creative 
activities  are  not  all-embracing ;  he  made  "the  sky,  the  earth,  the  birds,  and 
the  animals ;  but  neither  the  sea  nor  the  clouds"  nor,  apparently,  mankind. 
Closely  associated  with  him  was  Maira-monan,  who  is  probably  the  same 
Monan  with  the  epithet  Maira  (Europeans  were  also  called  Maira). 
Thevet  calls  him  the  "Transformer"  because  he  was  fond  of  changing 

132  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

things  according  to  his  fancies.  Maira-monan,  described  as  a  great  medi- 
cine man  living  in  seclusion  and  fasting,  was  a  benefactor  of  mankind, 
on  whom  he  bestowed  agriculture.  Tradition  has  it  that  he  changed  him- 
self into  a  child  who,  when  beaten,  dropped  fruits  and  tubers.  According 
to  another  version,  he  initiated  a  young  girl  into  the  practice  of  agriculture. 
As  a  lawgiver  he  introduced  social  organization  and  imposed  severe  taboos, 
including  the  prohibition  of  eating  slow-moving  animals.  For  unknown 
reasons,  ungrateful  people  plotted  his  death  and,  after  several  unsuc- 
cessful attempts,  burned  him  on  a  pyre.  The  bursting  of  his  head  origi- 
nated Thunder,  and  the  fire  of  his  pyre,  Lightning.  There  is  no  doubt  that 
Maira-monan  and  Sume,  who  is  often  mentioned  as  the  originator  of 
agriculture,  are  the  same  culture  hero.  Owing  to  a  vague  similarity  of 
name,  Sume  was  regarded  by  early  missionaries  as  the  fabulous  apostle 
Saint  Thomas  (S.  Tome),  the  supposed  bringer  of  Christianity  to  the 
Indians  long  before  the  discovery  of  America.  Petroglyphs  or  natural 
fissures  in  rocks  suggesting  footprints  were  attributed  to  Saint  Thomas 
and  were  presented  as  evidence  of  his  extensive  travels. 

The  twin  cycle,  so  common  in  South  American  mythology,  is  closely 
connected  with  the  personality  of  the  culture  hero,  Maira.  The  main 
episodes  of  the  myth  are  as  follows:  Maira  deserts  his  wife,  who  is 
pregnant.  She  sets  out  in  quest  of  her  lost  husband  and  is  guided  in  her 
journey  by  the  unborn  child.  Having  been  refused  one  of  his  requests,  the 
child  grows  angry  and  remains  silent.  The  mother  is  lost  and  arrives  at 
the  house  of  Sarigue  (Opossum,  subsequently  a  man),  who  sleeps  with 
her  and  makes  her  pregnant  with  a  second  child.  Continuing  her  search 
for  her  husband  she  is  misled  to  the  village  of  Jaguar  (also  a  man),  who 
kills  her  and  throws  the  twins  on  a  heap  of  rubbish.  They  are  saved  by 
a  woman,  who  brings  them  up.  They  demonstrate  their  supernatural 
origin  by  growing  very  rapidly  and  feeding  their  foster  mother  abundant 
game.  Remembering,  or  learning,  that  Jaguar  and  his  people  killed  their 
mother,  they  take  revenge  by  luring  them  to  the  sea  and  changing  them 
into  actual  beasts  of  prey.  Then  they  start  again  in  search  of  their  father. 
Finally,  they  find  him,  but  he  does  not  want  to  acknowledge  them  as  his 
children  before  a  trial  of  their  origin.  He  orders  them  to  accomplish 
difficult  tasks.  They  shoot  arrows  into  the  sky  and  each  arrow  hits  the 
butt  of  the  other,  thus  forming  a  long  chain.  They  pass  between  two 
constantly  clashing  and  recoiling  rocks.  The  twin  begotten  by  Opossum 
is  crushed  to  pieces,  but  his  brother  undergoes  the  ordeal  successfully 
and  brings  him  back  to  life.  The  same  fate  befalls  Opossum's  son  when 
he  tries  to  steal  the  bait  of  the  demon  Afiari,  but  again  Maira's  son 
revives  him.  After  they  have  gone  through  these  several  ordeals,  both  are 
recognized  by  Maira  as  his  children. 

There  are  two  versions  of  the  destruction  of  the  world.  The  first  cata- 
clysm which  befell  the  earth  was  a  big  fire  set  by  Monan,  which  he  himself 


put  out  by  flooding  the  universe.  The  flood  explains  the  origin  of  the  rivers 
and  of  the  sea,  which  is  still  salty  because  of  the  ashes. 

Arikut  and  Tamendonar  were  brothers.  The  latter,  a  peaceful  man,  was 
gravely  insulted  by  Arikut,  who  threw  at  him  the  arm  of  a  victim  he  was 
devouring.  Tamendonar  caused  a  spring  to  flow  so  abundantly  that  the 
water  covered  the  surface  of  the  earth.  Both  brothers  escaped  and  repopu- 
lated  the  universe. 

In  the  cosmogony  collected  by  Thevet,  a  tale  has  been  incorporated 
which  was  and  is  still  very  popular  among  South  American  Indians 
(Chiriguano,  Mataco,  Toba,  Uro-Chipaya,  Indians  of  Huarochiri). 
Maira-pochy  (the  bad  Maira),  a  powerful  medicine  man  or  more  probably 
the  culture  hero  himself,  appears  in  the  village  disguised  as  an  indigent  and 
dirty  man.  He  makes  the  daughter  of  the  village  chief  pregnant  by  giving 
her  a  fish  to  eat.  Later,  when  all  the  most  handsome  men  of  the  region 
vie  with  one  another  to  be  recognized  as  the  father  of  the  child,  the  baby 
hands  Maira-pochy  a  bow  and  arrows,  thus  acknowledging  him  as  his 
father.  Maira-pochy  shows  his  supernatural  power  by  raising  miraculous 
crops.    He  transforms  his  relatives-in-law  into  many  diflferent  animals. 


The  division  of  time  among  the  northern  Tupinamba  was  based  on  the 
appearance  and  disappearance  of  the  Pleiades  above  the  horizon.  The 
ripening  of  cashews  was  also  used  for  reckoning  time.  Dates  of 
future  events  were  calculated  with  knots  or  beads  on  a  cord. 

A  complete  list  of  the  Tupinamba  constellations  has  been  recorded  by 
Claude  d'Abbeville.  Most  of  them  were  named  after  animals.  Eclipses 
were  explained  as  attempts  of  a  celestial  jaguar  (a  red  star)  to  devour 
the  moon. 


Abbeville,  1614;  Acuna,  1891;  Anchieta,  1846,  1876-77;  Ayrosa,  1943;  Cardim, 
1939;  Denis,  1851;  Enformagao  do  Brazil,  1844;  Fritz,  1922;  Hoehne,  1937;  Lery, 
1880 ;  Magalhaes  de  Gandavo,  1922 ;  Metraux,  1927,  1928  a,  1928  b ;  Nieuhoff,  1682 ; 
Pinto,  1935-38;  Rocha  Pombo,  1905;  Soares  de  Souza,  1851;  Staden,  1928  (1557); 
Studart  Filho,  1931 ;  Thevet,  1575,  1878  (see  also  Metraux,  1928  b)  ;  Vaas  de  Cam- 
inha,  1812-13;  Vasconcellos,  1865;  Yves  d'Evreux,  1864.  For  further  Tupinamba 
references,  see  Metraux,  1927,  1928  a. 

By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


The  Giiajd  are  called  Wazaisara  (wazai,  an  ornament  of  small  tufts  of 
feathers  stuck  with  wax  in  the  hair,  plus  zara,  "owner")  by  the  Guaja- 
jara  and  Tembe,  and  Aiaye  by  the  Amanaye.  Guajd  is  the  Neo-Brazilian 
form  of  gwaza. 

The  tribe  is  rarely  mentioned  in  literature.  In  1774,  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio 
(1825,  p.  8)  mentions  the  Uaya  among  the  tribes  of  the  lower  Tocantins. 
A  list  of  the  tribes  existing  in  1861  in  the  region  along  the  road  from 
Imperatriz  to  Belem  mentions  the  Ayaya  as  "wild;  very  few  of  them 
are  tame,  but  are  timorous  and  therefore  are  pursued  and  killed  by  the 
others"  (Marques,  C.  A.,  1864).  According  to  the  report  of  F.  C.  de 
Araujo  Brusque  (1862,  p.  12),  the  Uaiara  (Guajard)  at  times  appeared  on 
the  upper  Gurupi  River  but  did  not  have  a  fixed  residence. 

The  author  obtained  the  following  information  among  the  Tenihe  of 
the  Gurupi  in  1913-14  and  among  the  Guajajara  in  1929: 

The  Guajd  wandered  without  fixed  living  places  through  the  jungles 
between  the  Capim  and  upper  Gurupi  Rivers  and  between  the  latter  and 
the  Pindare  River,  northward  to  about  lat.  3°  40'  S.  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  see 
Volume  1,  map  7).  In  1910  or  1911  a  small  group  of  them  committed  small 
thefts  in  the  fields  at  the  mouth  of  the  Gurupi  Mirim  River.  The  Tembe 
tracked  them  to  the  headwaters  of  the  Gurupi  Mirim.  Although  armed 
with  powerful  bows  and  arrows,  the  Guajd  there  surrendered  meekly  to 
their  pursuers,  who  took  them  to  the  village.  Here  the  captives  soon 
died  of  intestinal  ills  attributed  to  the  Tembe's  cooked  and  seasoned  food. 
The  language  of  the  two  tribes  was  so  similar  that  they  understood  each 
other  with  ease.  In  1943,  the  botanist  Ricardo  Froes  met  a  group  of 
them  on  the  upper  Caru,  a  left  tributary  of  the  Pindare  River. 


The  Guajd  did  not  have  any  agriculture  whatever,  but  at  times  stole 
from  the  plantations  of  the  Tembe,  Guajajara,  and  Urubu.  When  caught, 
they  were  killed  or  at  least  beaten  and  imprisoned. 


136  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  Guaja  built  only  temporary  shelters,  or  merely  camped  under 
trees,  sleeping  on  leaf  beds  on  the  ground. 

Some  Guaja  bows  and  arrows  were  procured  in  1913  by  a  punitive 
expedition  against  the  then  hostile  Urubu  Indians,  who  had  massacred  a 
Guaja  camp.  The  weapons  were  carelessly  made  but  were  very  large, 
the  bamboo  arrowheads  being  perhaps  the  largest  known. 

In  1913,  the  Guaja  still  used  stone  axes. 

Brusque,  1862;  Marques,  C.  A.,  1864;  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio,  1825. 



By  Charles  Wagley  and  Eduardo  Galvao 


The  Tripi-Guarani-speaking  people  of  northeastern  Brazil,  commonly 
called  Guajajara  and  Tembe,  are  generally  mentioned  in  the  literature 
as  two  independent  tribes  but  are  really  a  single  group  calling  them- 
selves Tenetehara.  By  this  name  they  distinguish  themselves  from  the 
Urubu  (also  Tupi-Guarani) ,  the  Timhira  (Ge),  and  the  Neo-Brazilians 
of  the  same  region. 

The  Guajajara-Tenetehara  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  see  Volume  1,  map  7) 
inhabit  the  region  drained  by  the  Mearim,  Grajau,  and  Pindare  Rivers  in 
the  state  of  Maranhao  (lat.  3°-5°  S.,  long.  4°-6°  W.)  ;  the  Temhc- 
Tenetehara  (map  1,  No.  1;  see  Volume  1,  map  7)  live  along  the  Gurupi, 
Guama,  and  Capim  Rivers  in  the  State  of  Para  (lat.  2°-3°  S.,  long.  7°- 
9°  W.).  The  Guajajara-Tenetehara  now  number  more  than  2,000,  but 
the  Tembe-Tenetehara  are  estimated  at  only  350  to  400.  For  convenience, 
we  shall  refer  to  these  people  by  the  name  they  give  themselves,  Tenete- 
hara, rather  than  by  the  tribal  names,  Guajajara  and  Tembe,  by  which 
they  are  best  known  in  the  literature.  No  important  differences  of  culture 
or  language  are  known  to  exist  between  the  Tembe-Tenetehara  of  the  State 
of  Para  and  the  Guajajara-Tenetehara  of  the  State  of  Maranhao. 

The  region  inhabited  by  the  Tenetehara  is  dense  tropical  rain  forest 
rich  in  hardwoods,  rubber,  copaiba  {Copaifera  sp.),  and  various  palms, 
especially  the  babassu  palm  (Orbignya  sp.),  whose  leaves  and  nuts  are 
so  important  in  Tenetehara  economic  life.  There  is  little  seasonal  varia- 
tion in  temperature  in  the  region,  yet  there  are  two  definite  seasons: 
the  rainy  season  lasting  from  December  through  June,  and  a  dry  season 
from  July  through  November. 

The  present  summary  is  based  on  field  work  done  by  the  authors 
for  5  months  during  1941-42. 

*  The  field  research  on  which  this  article  is  based  was  made  possible  by  the  Museu  Nacional,  Rio 
de  Janeiro,  Brazil. 


138  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INrHANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


The  Tenetehara  seem  to  have  inhabited  this  general  region  since  pre-Columbian 
times,  and  they  have  been  in  contact  with  western  culture  in  one  form  or  another  for 
more  than  300  years.  As  early  as  1615,  an  expedition  led  by  La  Ravardiere  on  the 
upper  Pindare  River  encountered  Indians  whom  he  called  Pinaricns  and  who  were 
probably  Tenetehara  (Guajajara)  (Metraux,  1928  a).  One  year  later,  Bento  Maciel 
Parente  speaks  of  killing  many  Tenetehara  (Guajajara)  when  he  traveled  up  the 
Pindare  River  with  45  Portuguese  soldiers  and  90  Indian  followers  (probably 
Tupinamha)  in  search  of  gold. 

In  the  middle  17th  century,  the  Jesuits  made  three  separate  expeditions  up  the 
Pindare  River  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  Tenetehara  down  the  river  and  placing 
them  in  mission  villages  on  the  Island  of  Maranhao.  Two  expeditions,  one  led  by 
Father  Francisco  Velloso  and  Father  Jose  Scares,  and  the  second  led  by  the  Jesuit 
Superior,  Manoel  Nunes,  in  the  middle  of  the  17th  century,  were  partially  successful 
and  founded  several  mission  villages  on  the  lower  Pindare,  among  them  Itaquy.  The 
third  expedition,  led  by  the  Jesuit  Jose  Maria  Garconi,  returned  with  a  large  number 
of  Tenetehara  and  placed  them  in  the  mission  village  called  Cajupe  on  the  lower 
Pindare.  Later,  however,  when  the  Jesuits  moved  their  mission  village  farther  down 
river  to  Maracu  (the  present  town  of  Vianna),  the  majority  of  these  missionized 
Tenetehara  returned  to  the  upper  Pindare  in  fear  of  their  enemies,  the  Gamela.  In 
consequence,  the  Jesuits  established  a  new  mission  on  the  upper  Pindare  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Caru  River.  Besides  these  religious  missions,  however,  it  is  probable  thai 
the  Tenetehara  were  in  contact  with  Portuguese  adventurers  who  wandered  in  this 
general  region  hunting  Indians  as  slaves. 

By  the  middle  18th  century,  the  Tenetehcra  are  mentioned  as  inhabiting  also  the 
Grajau  and  Mearim  Rivers,  west  of  the  Pindare.  At  the  same  time  Gustavo  Dodt 
mentions  them  (Tetnbe)  along  the  banks  of  the  Gurupi  River.  In  1840  the  pro- 
vincial government  of  Maranhao  established  the  Colony  of  Sao  Pedro  do  Pindare 
for  the  Indians  of  the  region,  with  but  little  success.  The  Colony  of  Januario,  estab- 
lished higher  up  the  Pindare  in  1854,  was  more  successful,  having  a  population  of  120 
Tenetehara  almost  20  years  later.  From  the  last  half  of  the  19th  century  until  the 
present,  there  has  been  a  steady  advance  of  Neo-Brazilians  into  Tenetehara  territory, 
especially  along  the  courses  of  the  Mearim  and  Grajau  Rivers.  Except  for  several 
sporadic  uprisings,  the  Tenetehara  have  always  lived  at  peace  with  Neo-Brazilians, 
and  there  has  been  a  mutual  interchange  of  culture  within  the  region.  Today  iron 
tools,  clothes,  myths  of  Iberian  and  African  origin,  and  many  other  elements  of 
frontier  Neo-Brazilian  culture  are  integrated  elements  in  Tenetehara  life. 


Farming. — Like  the  extinct  coastal  Tupi  groups,  the  Tenetehara  are 
extensive  agriculturists.  They  cultivate  principally  maize,  both  bitter  and 
sweet  manioc,  card,  (Dioscorea  sp.),  squash,  peanuts,  beans,  and  bananas. 
At  present,  they  also  have  large  plantations  of  rice,  which  they  raise  pri- 
marily to  sell  to  their  Neo-Brazilian  neighbors. 

Annually  from  July  to  November,  great  areas  of  forest  are  cleared  for 
gardens,  and  the  dry  vegetation  is  burned  toward  the  end  of  November. 
The  gardens  are  planted  throughout  December.  All  Tenetehara  use  steel 
axes,  hoes,  and  bush  knives  obtained  by  trade  from  Neo-Brazilians. 

Plate  13. — Tenetehara  boys.  Top:  Boys  dressed  for  puberty  ceremony. 
Bottom,  left:  Boy  decorated  for  puberty  ceremony.  His  father  led  the  song  and 
his  mother  danced.  Bottom,  right:  Portrait  of  young  man.  (Courtesy  Charles 

Plate  14.— Tenelehara  women  and  shaman.  Top,  Ujt:  Girl  just  before  puberty 
ceremony.  Top,  right:  Woman  and  child.  Bottom,  left:  Shaman  possessed  bv 
familiar  spirit.  Bottom,  right:  Shaman  smoking  long  tobacco  cigar  and  holding 
in  his  hand  an  object  drawn  from  a  sick  patient.     (Courtesy  Charles  Wagley.) 


Formerly,  only  women  planted  and  harvested  cotton  and  peanuts, 
while  the  cultivation  of  manioc,  maize,  and  other  plants  was  the  exclusive 
occupation  of  the  men.  Today,  however,  men  plant  the  entire  garden, 
including  cotton  and  peanuts,  and  women  help  now  and  again  in  light 
garden  tasks.  Similarly,  the  preparation  of  manioc  flour  and  the  carrying 
of  drinking  water  were  exclusively  female  tasks  which  a  man  would  have 
been  ashamed  to  perform;  at  present  both  sexes  perform  them  equally. 

Gardens  are  said  to  be  individually  owned,  yet  most  commonly  an  older 
man  makes  a  garden  aided  by  his  real  and  adopted  sons,  his  nephews,  and 
his  sons-in-law.  The  garden,  while  used  by  all  in  common,  is  said  to  be 
the  individual  property  of  the  head  of  the  family. 

Wild  foods. — Hunting  is  practiced  not  only  to  add  meat  to  a  basically 
vegetarian  diet,  but  also  to  collect  animal  skins  for  sale  to  Neo-Brazilian 
traders.  Tapir  {Tapirus  terrestris),  deer,  both  the  white-lipped  and  col- 
lared peccary,  monkeys,  agouti  {Dasyprocta,  gen.),  and  various  forest 
fowls  are  the  principal  animals  hunted.  Peccary  hides  bring  especially 
good  prices  at  Neo-Brazilian  villages,  and  the  Tenet ehara  use  the  money 
to  buy  trade  goods,  such  as  clothes,  salt,  and  gunpowder. 

Today  the  favorite  means  of  hunting  is  with  muzzle-loading  shotguns. 
Yet,  lacking  money  with  which  to  buy  guns,  many  men  of  each  village  still 
hunt  with  the  bow  and  arrow. 

Fishing  is  done  by  ordinary  hook  and  line  acquired  from  Neo-Brazilians. 
Fishing  by  poisoning  drying  pools  with  timbo  {Serjania  sp.)  is  known 
but  seldom  practiced. 

Collecting  babassii  palm  nuts  and  copaiba  oil  has  acquired  extreme  im- 
portance in  modern  Tenetehara  economic  life,  especially  on  the  Mearim, 
Grajaii,  and  Pindare  Rivers.  These  products,  like  rice  and  furs,  can  be 
sold  in  order  to  buy  manufactured  articles,  such  as  clothes,  guns,  fish- 
hooks, and  salt. 


At  present,  the  Tenetehara  houses  in  the  Pindare  and  Grajau  River 
regions  have  a  rectangular  floor  plan  with  hip-roofs.  Both  walls  and 
roofs  are  covered  with  babassii  palm  leaves.  This  house  form  is  perhaps 
Neo-Brazilian,  yet  people  do  not  remember  any  other  type.  In  1924  E.  H. 
Snethlage  (1931)  found  the  Tenetehara  houses  on  the  middle  Mearim 
River  of  the  same  type  as  those  of  the  Neo-Brazilians  of  the  region,  and 
even  in  the  last  century,  Gustavo  Dodt  described  Tenetehara  (Temhe) 
houses  on  the  Gurupi  River  as  straw-roofed  with  clay  adobe  walls  (Dodt, 
1873,  p.  194),  definitely  of  Neo-Brazilian  type.  Snethlage  speaks  of 
houses  covered  with  bark,  but  considered  this  type  of  roof  temporary, 
explaining  its  use  by  the  lack  of  palm  leaves  in  certain  districts. 

A  village  generally  has  two  rows  of  houses  with  a  wide  street  between 
them.    Larger  villages  may  have  three,  four,  or  more  rows.    The  size  of 

6S3333^t7— 12 

140  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Tenetehara  villages  varies  greatly.  According  to  a  recent  census  made  by 
the  Servigo  de  Protecgao  aos  Indios,  the  villages  of  the  Pindare  and 
Grajaii  ranged  from  35  to  more  than  800  persons  each.  Houses  are 
generally  occupied  by  a  matrilineal  extended  family,  although  many  hold 
only  a  simple  family  (man,  wife,  and  young  children).  Extended  family 
residences  are  not  subdivided  by  inner  walls,  but  each  simple  family  uses 
a  portion  of  the  house  space,  having  its  separate  cooking  fire  around 
which  it  hangs  its  sleeping  hammocks.  Gourds  filled  with  drinking  water, 
baskets  with  manioc  flour,  metal  utensils,  and  other  belongings  are  hung 
on  the  upright  supports  against  the  walls.  Sometimes  high  platforms  are 
made  near  the  roof  for  the  storage  of  maize,  manioc,  hides,  farming  instru- 
ments, etc. 

Snethlage  (1931)  saw  a  large  ceremonial  house,  which  was  much  larger 
than  the  dwellings  in  the  village  of  Colonia  on  the  Mearim  River.  It  was 
situated  at  the  end  of  the  village  street.  On  the  Pindare  River,  the  cere- 
monial house  is  no  longer  erected,  but  formerly  it  was  built  for  the  Honey 
Feast  (see  p.  146)  and  destroyed  afterward.  It  seems  to  have  been  but 
a  larger  shelter  without  walls,  in  which  both  men  and  women  danced. 


Formerly,  the  Tenetehara  were  nude.  Men  tied  the  prepuce  over  the 
glans  penis  with  a  piece  of  palm  fiber  (Lago,  1822,  p.  85).  Today  they 
have  adopted  clothes  from  the  Neo-Brazilians;  women  always  wear  skirts 
and  men  wear  shirts  and  pants,  only  occasionally  stripping  down  to  a  loin- 
cloth for  heavy  work  in  the  gardens.  It  is  now  a  matter  of  prestige  to 
have  new  or  better  clothes  than  other  people. 


Basketry. — Basketry  is  still  woven  by  the  Tenetehara,  especially  in  the 
villages  of  the  upper  Pindare  River.  A  split  flexible  creeper  is  used  prin- 
cipally. Round  sieves  for  straining  manioc  flour,  square  baskets  with 
woven  geometric  designs,  and  the  flexible  tipiti  for  squeezing  the  poisonous 
juice  from  bitter  manioc  are  the  most  common  objects  of  this  class. 

Weaving. — Native  cotton  is  used  almost  entirely  for  string  hammocks. 
The  string  is  wound  horizontally  around  two  vertical  posts  driven  into  the 
ground ;  double  vertical  strands  are  twined  at  a  distance  of  about  21/2  inches 
(7.5  cm.)  apart. 

Gourds. — Eating  utensils  are  made  from  round  gourds.  The  gourds 
are  first  boiled,  then  allowed  to  dry  thoroughly,  cut  in  half,  and  the  in- 
terior mass  scraped  out.  The  interior  is  stained  black  with  genipa  and 
frequently  the  outside  is  decorated  geometrically  with  incisions  or  lines  of 
black  genipa  dye.  Frequently,  only  a  hole  is  cut  in  a  gourd,  and  it  is  used 
as  a  jug  for  drinking  water  or  wild  honey. 


Ceramics. — The  pottery  which  Snethlage  noted  in  1924  (Snethlage, 
1931)  was  simple  and  generally  undecorated,  but  some  vessels  had  incised 

Today  pottery  making  has  been  completely  abandoned,  at  least  on  the 
Pindare  and  Grajau  Rivers.  The  Tenctehara  use  metal  utensils  purchased 
from  Neo-Brazilians. 

Weapons. — Bows  average  3  feet  (1  m.)  in  length;  the  belly  is  convex, 
the  inside  flat.  Bows  are  generally  made  of  pau  d'arco  wood  (Tecoma 
conspicua),  and  the  bowstring  of  twined  tucum  (Bactris  sp.)  fibers. 
Arrows  are  comparatively  short,  averaging  only  about  3  feet  (1  m.)  in 
length.  Nowadays  they  have  steel  points  made  from  old  bush  knives  and 
bits  of  metal  purchased  from  Neo-Brazilians  and  worked  cold.  Arrow 
shafts  are  of  reed  (Gynerium  sagittatum,  a  grass). 


Each  Tenetehara  village  is  politically  autonomous.  Inter-village  rela- 
tions are  maintained  by  means  of  visits  for  ceremonials  and  for  trade,  and 
by  intermarriages. 

Since  the  time  of  the  Jesuits,  each  village  has  had  a  secular  chief  (capitao 
in  Portuguese)  appointed  by  some  authority  outside  the  tribe  (e.g.,  Jesuit 
missionaries,  the  Colonial,  Imperial,  and  Republican  Governments,  and  at 
present  the  Servi^o  de  Protecgao  aos  Indios).  In  general,  this  chief  is  only 
an  intermediary  between  the  Indians  and  the  Neo-Brazilians.  He  is  gener- 
ally but  one  of  several  leaders  or  heads  of  the  extended  families  which 
make  up  a  village.  However,  the  respect  that  he  is  accorded  by  outsiders 
frequently  increases  his  prestige  in  the  eyes  of  the  villagers. 

Each  family  leader  unites  about  him  a  large  number  of  kin,  either  in 
his  own  house  or  in  contiguous  houses.  He  may  have  several  young  men 
living  with  him  whom  he  calls  "son"  and  as  many  young  women  whom 
he  calls  "daughter"  (own  daughters,  real  or  classificatory  brother's 
daughter,  or  wife's  real  or  classificatory  sister's  daughter)  as  possible. 
Because  marriage  is  matrilocal  and  sons-in-law  must  work  in  the  gardens 
of  their  fathers-in-law  at  least  for  a  year  or  two,  these  "daughters"  attract 
followers  for  the  family  leader.  According  to  his  individual  capacity,  the 
family  leader  attracts  large  extended  families  more  or  less  permanently 
around  him. 

Extended  family  groups  cooperatively  plant  large  gardens.  Frequently, 
the  leader  sells  all  marketable  products,  such  as  skins,  rice,  and  babassu, 
produced  by  the  entire  group,  and  proportions  the  results  of  the  sales 
among  the  individual  families.  A  village  generally  has  four,  five,  or 
more  extended  families  and  their  leaders,  who  while  not  constituting  a 
formal  village  council,  ultimately  decide  public  questions. 

142  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


Childbirth. — During  his  wife's  pregnancy,  a  Tenetehara  man  must 
observe  elaborate  restrictions  in  his  diet  and  in  his  hunting  activities.  He 
may  not  kill  or  eat  jaguars,  falcons  (Fakonoidea),  ant  eaters  (Tamandua 
tetradactyla) ,  wildcats,  parrots,  or  various  other  animals  and  forest  fowls. 
The  purpose  of  these  taboos  is  to  protect  the  fetus  from  the  "spirit"  of 
the  animal  killed  or  eaten.  This  "spirit"  (piwara)  enters  the  unborn  child, 
either  causing  physical  abnormalities  or  giving  it  some  undesirable  attribute 
of  the  animal.  For  example,  the  spirit  of  the  enormous  beaked  toucan 
(Ramphastos  toco)  may  cause  the  child  to  be  born  with  a  large  nose; 
the  father  who  kills  a  jaguar  during  his  wife's  pregnancy  may  expect  to 
have  an  insane  child. 

A  new  series  of  taboos  begins  for  both  parents  at  childbirth.  Sexual 
relations  are  prohibited  for  parents  until  the  "child  is  hard,"  that  is,  until 
it  begins  to  have  some  control  over  its  muscles,  5  or  6  months  after  the 
birth.  For  a  week  to  10  days,  both  parents  may  eat  only  manioc  flour, 
small  fish,  and  roast  maize,  and  must  drink  only  warmed  water.  Until 
the  child  is  weaned,  certain  meats,  such  as  macaw,  white-lipped  peccary, 
and  tapir  are  forbidden  to  both  parents.  Breaking  any  of  these  taboos 
arrests  the  development  of  the  infant  and  may  cause  its  death. 

Puberty. — Formerly,  adolescents  of  both  sexes  were  isolated  for  10  days 
or  more  in  separate  huts  built  especially  for  the  occasion.  On  the  10th 
morning,  entrails  of  the  agouti  were  stretched  across  the  door  of  the  hut, 
and  the  adolescent  had  to  break  these  in  order  to  leave.  Today  boys  are 
seldom  isolated  at  all  before  their  puberty  ceremony,  and  girls  may  be 
isolated  only  by  a  palm-leaf  screen  within  the  family  dwelling  or  they  may 
simply  lie  in  their  hammocks  in  one  corner  of  the  room.  Even  today  the 
girl  ends  her  isolation  by  breaking  the  entrails  of  the  agouti  stretched 
across  the  door,  and  is  chased  by  the  young  men  of  the  village  when  she 
runs  to  the  stream  or  pool  for  a  bath. 

Formerly,  a  father  examined  his  son's  penis  after  the  isolation  period, 
and,  if  there  were  signs  of  masturbation,  the  boy  was  whipped  with  a  vine 

The  puberty  ceremony  is  for  both  sexes  (see  pis.  13,  14).  Boys  are 
painted  red  with  genipa,  and  falcon  breast  feathers  are  glued  on  their 
breasts  and  arms  (pi.  13).  Frequently,  the  boys  carry  a  wand  consisting 
of  about  30  to  40  tail  feathers  from  the  red  macaw  stuck  into  a  wooden 
handle.  Girls  are  simply  painted  black  over  their  entire  bodies  and  some- 
times white  falcon  breast  feathers  are  glued  to  their  hair. 

The  puberty  ceremony  begins  at  dawn  and  lasts  24  hours.  It  consists 
mainly  of  general  singing  and  dancing  led  by  the  grandfather  of  one  of 
the  adolescents.  Shamans  play  an  important  role,  calling  their  familiar 
spirits  and  falling  into  trances  under  the  influence  of  the  spirits  (see 
p.  147).    At  dawn,  after  the  night  of  group  singing  everyone  feasts  on 


large  quantities  of  meat,  the  result  of  hunting  during  previous  days  by  all 
men  of  the  village.  At  this  time  the  young  people  are  formally  given 
permission  to  eat  of  such  meats  as  peccary,  guariba  monkey,  wild  goose, 
and  various  forest  fowls,  all  of  which  until  now  were  prohibited  to  them. 
Because  of  this  feast,  the  Neo-Brazilians  of  the  region  call  the  Tenetehara 
puberty  ceremony  the  Festival  of  Roasted  Meat  (Festa  de  Moqueado). 

Marriage. — Marriage  takes  two  general  forms :  Frequently,  a  young 
man  marries  a  preadolescent  girl,  moving  to  her  parents'  house  and  waiting 
until  after  her  puberty  ceremony  to  consummate  the  marriage ;  or  a  girl's 
father  finds  her  a  husband  after  her  puberty  ceremony.  In  either  case, 
residence  for  the  couple  is  matrilocal  for  at  least  a  year  after  sexual  rela- 
tions begin  and  generally  until  the  birth  of  a  child.  There  seem  not  to  be 
any  special  marriage  ceremonies.  After  becoming  a  parent,  a  young  man 
of  initiative  may  break  away  from  his  father-in-law  and  set  up  his  own 

Monogamy  is  the  general  rule,  yet  there  are  cases  of  family  leaders  with 
two  and  even  three  wives.  In  such  cases,  the  wives  are  usually  close  rela- 
tives; in  several  instances,  they  were  a  widow  and  her  daughter  by  a 
previous  marriage. 

Death. — Antonio  Pereira  do  Lago,  writing  in  the  19th  century,  reports 
that  the  Tenetehara  buried  their  dead  in  the  family  dwelling,  and  that  the 
house  was  destroyed  when  a  second  death  occurred.  At  present,  burial  is 
in  a  cemetery,  always  just  outside  the  village;  the  body  is  wrapped  in  a 
mat  made  of  babassu  palm  (Orbignya  sp.)  leaves,  or  it  may  be  placed  in 
a  wooden  box  similar  to  that  used  by  local  Neo-Brazilians.  A  low  roofed 
shelter  is  frequently  built  over  the  grave ;  such  grave  shelters  were  noted 
by  Dodt  on  the  Gurupi  in  the  last  century. 


Art. — Native  art  forms  are  represented  today  only  by  a  few  items,  such 
as  decorated  basketwork,  incised  and  painted  gourd  receptacles,  and 
feather  head  bands.  Wands  are  made  by  sticking  innumerable  tail  feathers 
of  the  red  macaw  into  a  wooden  handle. 

Music. — The  Tenetehara  are  very  fond  of  music.  They  have  not  only 
retained  their  native  music,  but  have  borrowed  the  Neo-Brazilian  music 
of  the  region.  Singing  native  songs,  however,  is  still  the  most  popular 
pastime  and  the  outstanding  esthetic  of  the  Tenetehara.  There  are  fre- 
quent informal  reunions  called  zingarete  (to  sing  much)  in  the  evenings 
throughout  the  year,  when  people  sing  secular  songs  for  recreation.  Such 
songs  last  for  the  greater  part  of  the  night,  people  leaving  and  joining  the 
group  from  time  to  time.  Ceremonies  are  basically  singing  festivals  and 
each  has  its  particular  set  of  songs.  To  sing  such  ceremonial  songs  out 
of  season  would  bring  supernatural  reprisal.    The  songs  of  the  Honey 

144  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Festival  are  considered  the  most  beautiful  by  the  Tenetehara.  They  are 
believed  to  have  been  learned  in  mythological  times  by  a  young  Tenetehara 
shaman  when  he  visited  a  festival  of  the  animals  at  the  Village  of  the 
Jaguar;  the  songs  are  those  sung  by  individual  animals  on  that  occasion. 

Shamans  are  obliged  to  have  a  large  repertoire  of  songs;  a  group  of 
songs  is  attributed  to  each  supernatural  being,  and  the  shaman  must  know 
those  of  his  familiar  spirits.  A  good  voice  is  a  prerequisite  for  shamanism. 
At  shamanistic  sessions  (p.  147),  the  shaman  sings  as  he  "calls"  the 
spirit,  and  the  spirit  sings  through  him  after  he  is  possessed  (pi.  14,  bottom, 
left)  ;  the  audience  joins  the  shaman  in  the  refrain  of  the  songs.  Shaman- 
istic sessions  are  well  attended,  because  they  give  people  a  chance  to  come 
together  to  sing. 

In  all  group  singing  both  men  and  women  sing,  the  latter  in  a  higher 
key,  much  as  among  the  Tapirape  and  as  described  for  the  Tupinamba. 

Musical  instruments. — Gourd  rattles  always  accompany  singing,  but 
they  are  not  sacred,  as  among  the  coastal  Tupi.  A  trumpet  with  a  bamboo 
stem  and  a  cow's  horn  resonator  is  used  during  the  Honey  Festival ;  during 
aboriginal  times,  a  gourd  resonator  was  used  in  place  of  the  cow's  horn. 

Dancing". — Frequently,  during  informal  singing,  the  Tenetehara  keep 
time  to  the  music  by  stamping  with  one  foot  on  the  ground.  During  lively 
shamanistic  sessions  and  during  ceremonies,  both  sexes  dance.  Com- 
monly, they  simply  stamp  in  one  spot,  with  a  heavy  beat  on  one  foot. 
During  the  Maize  Festival,  they  move  in  a  large  circle  with  a  skipping 
step ;  on  other  occasions,  a  line  of  men  faces  a  line  of  women  and  the  two 
lines  advance  and  retreat  from  each  other.  A  possessed  shaman  dances 
in  a  manner  indicative  of  the  supernatural  possessing  him ;  for  example, 
when  possessed  by  the  guariba  monkey  spirit,  he  postures  in  imitation  of 
the  monkey,  and  when  possessed  by  the  toad  spirit,  he  hops  about  like 
a  toad. 

The  Tenetehara  also  frequently  hold  Neo-Brazilian  dances,  when  men 
and  women  dance  in  couples  to  waltzes,  "sambas,"  and  local  folk  tunes. 
For  these  dances,  many  young  Tenetehara  have  learned  to  play  bamboo 
flutes  and  skin  drums.  Sometimes  a  Neo-Brazilian  is  hired  to  play  the 
accordion  for  dancing. 

Games. — No  aboriginal  games  were  noted  among  the  Tenetehara.  Boys 
play  tops  and  marbles  in  the  same  manner  as  the  Neo-Brazilian  children 
of  the  region. 

Narcotics.-— Hashish  (Cannabis  indica) ,  or  diamba,  as  it  is  called 
locally,  is  in  widespread  use  in  the  region  of  the  Pindare,  Mearim,  and 
Grajau  Rivers,  both  by  the  Tenetehara  and  Neo-Brazilians.  On  the 
Pindare  River,  it  is  used  in  long  cigarettes  made  from  leaves  of  the  plant 
rolled  in  a  thin  sheet  of  bark  of  tawari  tree  (Couratari  sp.). 

Native  tobacco  plays  an  important  role  in  Tenetehara  religious  life, 
being  used  by  the  shamans  in  the  treatment  of  illness  and  in  all  their 


other  activities  (pi.  14,  bottom,  right).  It  is  smoked  in  long  funnellike 
cigars,  about  12  inches  (30  cm.)  long,  wrapped  in  cane  bark.  Smoking 
of  tobacco  or  hashish  is  also  a  general  pastime. 

There  are  no  indications  that  the  Tenetehara  have  known  any  alcoholic 
beverages  other  than  those  which  they  now  purchase  from  the  Neo- 


Tenetehara  supernatural  beings  (karowara,  their  generic  name)  may 
be  conveniently  divided  into  three  groups :  culture  heroes,  forest  spirits, 
and  ghosts,  the  last  being  spirits  of  the  dead  and  spirits  of  animals.  All 
except  the  culture  heroes  are  malignant  and  make  the  world  so  generally 
dangerous  that  the  Indians  must  constantly  have  recourse  to  their  shamans 
for  protection. 

Culture  heroes. — Teiietehara  culture  heroes  are  not  active  supernatural 
beings  in  their  modern  relations  to  manldnd,  but  in  myths  they  are  culture 
bringers  and  creators.  (See  Mythology,  p.  147.)  Among  them,  Maira 
and  Tupan  are  the  principal  creators  of  culture.  It  is  quite  possible, 
however,  that  the  importance  of  Tupan  has  been  overemphasized  by  mis- 
sionaries who  identified  him  throughout  Brazil  with  the  Christian  God. 
Tupan  was  simply  the  "demon  of  Thunder"  among  the  coastal  Tupi 
(Metraux,  1928  b). 

Forest  spirits. — Maranaiiwa  is  the  owner  of  the  forest  and  of  the 
animals  inhabiting  it,  especially  of  white-lipped  peccaries,  and  he  punishes 
Tenetehara  men  who  needlessly  and  wantonly  kill  this  species.  Maranaiiwa 
may  be  identified  as  Corropira  or  Kuri-pira  of  other  Tupi  groups  and  of 
Neo-Brazilian  folklore. 

Uwan,  the  spirit  which  controls  the  rivers  and  water  life,  is  given  two 
other  descriptive  names:  tJpore  (ii,  water;  pore,  inhabitant)  and  tlzare 
(ii,  water;  zare,  owner).  This  supernatural  being  is  identified  by  local 
Neo-Brazilians  as  the  "Mother  of  Water,"  a  character  of  Brazilian  folk- 
lore, tjwan  is  described  by  the  Tenetehara  as  a  spirit  who  is  always 
malignant,  and  who  causes  illness. 

Zurupari  is  a  forest  demon  which  attracts  hunters  and  leads  them  astray 
until  they  are  lost  and  then  kills  them.  This  spirit  corresponds  to 
Yurupari,  or  Zurupari,  of  Neo-Brazilian  folklore. 

Ghosts. — Wandering  ghosts  (azang)  are  the  souls  of  people  who  died 
from  sorcery,  who  broke  incest  taboos  during  their  life,  or  who  died  by 
slowly  wasting  away.  The  modern  Tenetehara  explain  that  the  souls  of 
people  who  die  by  other  means  go  to  the  "home  of  Tupan,"  a  Christian 

The  azang  wander  through  the  forests  or  near  the  cemeteries  and 
abandoned  houses.  They  can  transform  themselves  into  animals  which 
appear  to  hunters,  frightening  them  and  causing  them  to  lose  arrows  shot 

146  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

at  them  by  mistake.  The  Tenetehara  are  very  frightened  of  azang,  espe- 
cially at  night ;  they  always  avoid  passing  near  a  cemetery  or  an  abandoned 

The  spirits  of  dead  animals  (piwara)  mainly  enforce  restrictions  on 
diet  and  on  hunting,  such  as  those  imposed  upon  a  man  during  his  wife's 
pregnancy  and  his  child's  early  infancy  and  upon  preadolescent  children. 
If  a  father  of  a  young  child,  for  example,  kills  a  macaw,  the  spirit  of  the 
macaw  may  make  the  child  ill  if  he  is  not  treated  by  a  shaman  sufficiently 
strong  to  control  this  spirit.  Deer,  monkeys,  forest  fowls,  toads,  tapirs, 
and  many  other  animals  have  such  spirits. 


Besides  the  puberty  rites,  two  ceremonies  are  still  held  by  the  Tenetehara 
of  the  Pindare  and  Grajau  River  region:  The  Honey  Festival  (zemuci- 
hawo  and  the  Maize  Festival  (awaciwahuhawo).  The  first  takes  place 
during  the  dry  season,  and  the  second  accompanies  the  growth  of  maize 
during  the  rains  from  January  through  March.  The  Maize  Festival  is 
basically  a  song  feast  and  dance,  which  provides  a  background  for  shaman- 
istic  performances.  Shamans  invoke  their  familiar  spirits  in  order  to 
protect  the  growing  maize. 

The  Honey  Festival  takes  place  during  the  last  days  of  the  dry  season 
and  lasts  but  a  few  days.  Preparations  for  it,  however,  require  months, 
because  the  Tenetehara  must  collect  wild  honey  for  it  throughout  the 
dry  season.  Generally,  20  to  30  gourd  containers,  each  holding  one  to 
two  liters  of  honey,  must  be  filled.  Each  night  or  so  during  these  months, 
the  people  of  the  village  gather  and  sing  "to  bless  the  honey."  Formerly, 
the  containers  of  honey  were  hung  to  the  rafters  of  a  special  ceremonial 
house  built  for  the  occasion ;  nowadays,  they  are  stored  in  any  available 
empty  house.  When  sufficient  honey  has  been  collected,  the  leader  of  the 
ceremony  sends  out  invitations  to  nearby  villages.  During  the  ceremony, 
the  Tenetehara  dance  in  a  large  circle.  The  songs  refer  to  the  original 
honey  feast  held  by  animals  in  mythical  times  (Nimuendaju,  1915). 
The  honey  is  mixed  with  water  and  consumed  by  the  dancers;  when  the 
honey  is  gone,  the  ceremony  terminates. 


In  spite  of  more  than  300  years  of  sporadic  contact  with  missionaries, 
shamanism  continues  to  be  a  very  active  element  of  Tenetehara  religious 
life.  In  fact,  with  the  decline  of  native  ceremonial  life  under  Neo-Brazilian 
influence,  the  activities  of  the  shamans  (paze)  absorb  most  of  modern 
Tenetehara  religious  activity.  Like  the  Tupinamba  shaman,  pay,  the 
Tenetehara  paze  is  a  man  of  great  prestige  in  his  community.  At  present, 
each  village  has  no  less  than  two  or  three  shamans  and  some  large  villages 


have  six  or  seven;  in  addition,  numerous  young  men  are  learning  the 
art.  There  are  few  Tenetehara  who  do  not  attempt  during  their  youth 
to  become  shamans. 

Tenetehara  shamans  cure  illness  by  removing  the  disease-causing  objects 
through  sucking  or  massaging  (pi.  14,  bottom,  right).  During  the  cure, 
the  shaman  dances  and  sings,  beating  time  with  a  rattle  and  calling  his 
familiar  spirits.  Men  and  women  of  the  village  join  him  in  the  chorus. 
Now  and  again,  he  gulps  and  swallows  smoke  from  his  large  tubular 
cigar,  eventually  becoming  definitely  intoxicated.  Suddenly,  he  staggers 
backward,  grasping  his  chest  to  show  that  his  spirit  has  possessed  him. 
A  shaman  must  be  able  "to  call"  (be  possessed  by)  the  same  piwara, 
or  spirit,  that  has  caused  the  illness  in  order  to  be  able  to  extract  the 
object.  He  approaches  the  patient  and  sucks  or  massages  out  the 
extraneous  object  (iimae),  i.  e.,  a  piece  of  stone,  bone,  or  wood. 

A  shaman  shows  by  his  actions  which  spirit  has  possessed  him  (pi.  14, 
bottom,  left).  If  it  is  a  deer  spirit  (aropoha  piwara),  he  may  eat  manioc 
leaves;  if  ghosts  (azang),  he  drinks  uncooked  tapioca  flour  mixed  with 
water;  and  if  any  familiar  spirit,  he  frequently  rubs  the  lighted  end 
of  his  cigar  over  his  bare  chest  and  arms  without  being  burned.  Several 
informants  told  of  Tenetehara  shamans  who  swallow  burning  coals  from 
a  fire  while  possessed  by  the  spirit  of  the  kururu  toad  {Bufo  sp.).  Sneth- 
lage  (1927,  p.  132)  also  observed  this.  On  occasions,  the  familiar  spirit 
is  "too  strong"  for  a  shaman,  and  he  falls  unconscious,  remaining  extended 
upon  the  ground  for  an  hour  or  more  until  the  spirit  leaves  him. 

The  power  of  a  Tenetehara  shaman  depends  upon  the  number  of 
familiar  spirits  he  can  "call."  Commonly,  shamans  have  five  or  six 
such  familiar  spirits.  Because  iiwan,  the  owner  of  water,  frequently 
causes  illness,  this  spirit  is  most  frequently  called  in  cures.  At  present, 
on  the  Pindare  River,  there  are  no  shamans  who  count  among  their 
familiar  spirits  the  toad  spirit  (kurura  piwara),  the  forest  demon, 
Maranaiiwa,  or  the  jaguar  spirit  (zawara  piwara) .  So  powerful  are  these 
three  spirits  that  no  modern  shamans  dare  "call"  them.  A  shaman 
spends  many  years  learning  "to  call"  his  various  familiar  spirits  by 
singing  and  acquiring  the  power  to  withstand  them  when  possessed.  He 
sometimes  visits  many  villages  to  learn  from  other  shzunans  and  to  acquire 
a  larger  number  of  familiar  spirits. 


In  Tenetehara  mythology,  two  culture  heroes  stand  out,  Tupan  and 
Maira.  The  figure  of  Tupan  has  probably  been  emphasized  by  missionary 
influence;  he  appears  as  a  creator  and  protector.  Maira,  however,  is 
clearly  a  native  culture  creator.  He  is  the  donor  of  fire,  which  he  stole 
from  the  vultures,  hiding  it  in  a  stick  of  urucu  wood  so  that  the  Tenete- 
hara might  use  this  soft  wood  to  make  fire.    Maira  also  brought  manioc 

148  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

and  maize  to  the  Tenet ehara.  Maira  was  the  father  of  the  Maira-iira, 
who  was  born  after  his  father  had  abandoned  his  mother.  While  wander- 
ing in  search  of  Maira,  her  husband,  this  woman  conceived  a  second 
time  when  she  stayed  one  night  in  the  house  of  Mukwiira.  From  these 
two  unions  were  born  the  twins  Maira-iira  (ura,  son)  and  Mukwiira- 
iira.  A  detailed  myth  is  told  of  the  adventures  of  these  twins  in  their 
search  for  Maira. 

The  Tenetehara  also  tell  various  cycles  of  animal  stories.  One  cycle 
deals  with  the  difficulties  of  the  Gamba  (Didelphis  sp.)  in  arranging  a 
satisfactory  husband  for  his  daughter  and  of  how  he  is  followed  when 
trying  to  imitate  the  various  animals.  For  example,  the  girl  marries 
the  wood  tick,  and  Gamba,  dissatisfied  with  his  new  son-in-law,  tries  to 
imitate  the  wood  tick  by  floating  to  the  ground  on  a  leaf  from  a  tree 
top,  but  falls  hard  to  the  earth.  There  is  also  a  long  cycle  in  which 
the  tortoise  has  a  trickster  role.  Other  stories  recount  the  Rolling  Head 
and  the  Festival  of  the  Animals.  Modern  Tenetehara  legends  include  a 
large  series  that  are  of  Iberian  and  Africo-Brazilian  origin. 


Barbosa  Rodngues,  1872;  Bettendorf,  1910;  Dodt,  1873;  Froes  Abreu,  1931;  Kis- 
senberth,  1912;  Lago,  1822;  Lopes,  1934;  Marques,  C.  A.,  1870;  Metraux,  1928  a. 
1928  b;  Moraes,  1860;  Nimuendaju,  1915;  Plagge,  1857;  Ribeiro,  1841;  Leite,  1943; 
Snethlage,  E.  H.,  1927,  1931  a ;  Wagley,  1942,  1943  a. 


By  Betty  J,  Meggers 


The  Amazon  has  its  source  in  the  Andes  close  to  the  Pacific  and  flows 
northeast  4,000  miles  to  empty  into  the  Atlantic  at  the  Equator.  A  dozen 
large  tributaries  flow  into  it  at  intervals,  draining  four-tenths  of  the  con- 
tinent. At  the  mouth  of  the  Rio  Negro  the  valley  is  about  200  miles  wide, 
but  between  the  Tapajoz  and  Xingii  Rivers  it  narrows  to  50  or  less.  Below 
and  above  these  points  the  uplands  retreat  sharply  from  the  river  and  the 
valley  widens  abruptly.  Above  the  Madeira  River  the  forests  are  just  out 
of  water  and  are  inundated  long  before  the  river  attains  its  maximum  flood 
level.  The  natural  vegetation  of  the  valley  and  the  uplands  is  selva,  except 
for  scattered  savanna  lands  north  of  the  river  and  on  the  Island  of  Marajo. 

In  this  immense  area  archeology  has  made  little  progress.  Here  there 
are  none  of  the  large  imperishable  buildings  which  mark  sites  of  former 
human  habitation  for  the  archeologist  in  Peru,  and  the  virgin  forest 
effectively  obscures  all  lesser  clues  on  the  surface.  The  discovery  of  a  site 
often  a,waits  an  accident  such  as  occurred  at  Santarem  when  a  cloudburst 
washed  out  the  streets  and  revealed  quantities  of  pottery.  In  the  more 
open  country  on  Marajo  Island  and  in  the  Mojos  area  of  Bolivia,  the 
existence  of  mounds  makes  the  task  somewhat  easier. 

Stone  is  scarce  in  most  of  the  valley  and  was  not  a  major  item  in  the 
material  culture.  Few  stone  tools,  mainly  polished  axes  and  celts,  have 
been  recovered.  The  perishable  objects  which  took  their  place  have  not 
survived.  Metal  tools  are  rare  and  were  acquired  by  trade  from  the 
Andes  and  later  from  the  Europeans.  As  a  result,  pottery  is  almost  all 
that  the  archeologist  can  hope  to  find. 

Attempts  have  been  made  to  link  the  archeological  remains  with  known 
Indian  groups.  Many  of  the  earlier  writers  attributed  the  elaborate 
pottery  to  the  Carih,  whose  presence  had  been  recorded  along  the  lower 
Amazon.  The  tendency  of  the  later  writers  has  been  to  favor  the  Arawak, 
whose  high  cultural  level  and  widespread  migrations  are  offered  as  an 
explanation  for  the  similarities  noted  from  southern  Brazil  to  the  Antilles. 
The  question  has  not  yet  been  settled  to  the  satisfaction  of  all,  however. 




The  written  sources  leave  much  to  be  desired.  The  early  work  was  done 
largely  by  men  trained  in  other  fields,  and  it  is  difficult  to  know  what 
reliance  to  place  upon  their  conclusions.  The  more  recent  publications 
are  for  the  most  part  general  summaries  or  descriptions  of  collections  in 
museums.  An  exception  is  Linne  (1928  b),  who  describes  some  of  the 
sites  excavated  by  Nimuendaju  in  Northeast  Brazil.  Except  for 
Palmatary  on  Santarem,  Metraux  on  the  Upper  Amazon,  and  Goeldi  on 
Cunany,  the  following  sources  deal  mainly  with  Mara  jo :  Angyone  Costa 
(1934),  Farabee  (1921  a),  Goeldi  (1900),  Hartt  (1871,  1876,  1885), 
Holdridge  (1939),  Joyce  (1912),  Lange  (1914),  Linne),  (1925,  1928  a, 
1928b),  Metraux  (1930a),  Mordini  (1934),  Netto  (1885),  Nordenskiold 
(1930  a),  Palmatary  (1939),  Penna  (1877-78),  Steere  (1927),  Torres, 
H.  A.  (1929,  1930,  1940),  and  Uhle,  M.  (1923). 

The  largest  and  most  representative  museum  collections  of  Amazon 
pottery  are  in  the  Museu  Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi,  Belem,  Brazil;  the 
Ethnographical  Museum,  Goteborg,  Sweden ;  and  the  University  of  Penn- 
sylvania Museum,  Philadelphia,  Pa.  The  Musee  du  Trocadero,  Paris,  has 
a  collection  from  the  Middle  Amazon,  and  the  American  Museum  of 
Natural  History  in  New  York  one  from  Pacoval  on  Marajo  Island. 


In  this  article,  the  Amazon  has  been  divided  for  convenience  into  four 
areas:  Marajo  Island,  Northeast  Brazil,  the  Santarem  region,  and  the 
Middle  Amazon.  The  sites  in  Northeast  Brazil  (map  2) — Caviana, 
Maraca,  and  Cunany — ^have  been  grouped  together  on  the  basis  of  a  few 
traits  which  they  have  in  common  and  by  which  they  differ  from  Marajo 
and  Santarem.  These  are  the  absence  of  mounds,  with  the  burial  urns 
placed  directly  in  the  ground  or  in  caves,  the  presence  of  anthropomorphic 
funerary  urns,  the  interment  of  two  or  more  individuals  in  a  single  urn, 
and  similarities  in  the  pottery.  The  urns  from  these  sites  show  very 
marked  differences  in  form  and  detail  which  indicate  the  maintenance  of 
distinct  local  styles  in  spite  of  close  areal  proximity  and  contemporaneity. 

Marajo  Island  is  characterized  by  the  presence  of  mounds  containing 
burial  urns  and  domestic  pottery  including  tangas,  and  by  a  distinctive 
style  of  decoration  in  which  painted  and  incised  designs  are  prominent. 
At  Santarem,  both  mounds  and  burial  urns  are  absent.  Vessels  of  unusual 
shapes,  often  resting  on  caryatids  and  ornamented  with  bird  and  animal 
figures  in  full  round,  are  characteristic. 

A  hundred  and  fifty  miles  up  the  Tapajoz  River  and  above  the  Serra  de 
Parintins  on  the  Amazon,  burial  urns  again  appear.  The  latter  area,  which 
we  have  called  the  Middle  Amazon,  includes  sites  at  Miracanguera, 
Manaos,  and  Teffe.     This  area  is  little  known  and  no  accounts  of  exca- 

152  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

vations  have  been  published.  A  comparison  of  two  anthropomorphic  urns 
from  sites  in  the  area  over  500  miles  apart  shows  a  similarity  in  style. 
Other  fragments  are  reminiscent  of  Santarem  and  Mara  jo.  The  upper 
reaches  of  the  Amazon  are  virtually  unknown  archeologically. 

The  general  culture-subsistence  pattern  for  the  Amazonian  area  was 
probably  quite  uniform.  Agriculture  was  supplemented  by  hunting,  fish- 
ing, and  gathering.  The  high  development  of  the  ceramic  art,  as  well 
as  the  amount  of  labor  which  would  have  been  required  to  build  the  stone 
walls  along  the  coast  and  the  mounds  on  Marajo,  presupposes  relatively 
large  communities  and  indicates  an  economic  and  social  organization  ad- 
vanced enough  to  permit  the  expenditure  of  large  amounts  of  time  and 
effort  on  projects  unprofitable  from  the  point  of  view  of  subsistence.  The 
presence  of  greenstone  objects  on  Marajo  believed  to  originate  from  some- 
where in  the  vicinity  of  Obidos  is  evidence  of  widespread  trade  connections. 
Early  explorers  on  the  Amazon  reported  that  the  pottery  of  Santarem 
was  an  important  item  of  barter,  and  the  discovery  of  a  clay  bird  head 
on  the  Island  of  Carriacou  in  the  Antilles  identical  with  those  found  at 
Santarem  substantiates  their  statements.  The  stone  works  along  the  coast 
are  presumed  to  be  evidence  that  an  advanced  type  of  religion  was  prac- 
ticed there. 

Chronological  relationships  are  uncertain.  At  Caviana  and  Maraca 
objects  of  European  origin  have  been  found  in  association  with  the  pottery, 
indicating  that  these  cultures  were  flourishing  in  post-Columbian  times. 
Cunany  is  also  dated  as  contemporary  with  the  Conquest.  At  Carao  on 
the  Mayacare,  however,  no  objects  of  European  origin  or  showing  Euro- 
pean influence  have  been  discovered.  Although  no  objects  of  European 
manufacture  have  been  found  on  Marajo,  the  reports  of  travelers  on  the 
lower  Amazon  in  the  17th  century  indicate  that  fine  pottery  was  still  being 
made  there  at  that  time.  Nordenskiold  (1930  a,  pp.  33-34)  has  suggested 
the  possibility  of  arriving  at  a  chronology  by  comparison  with  the  Andean 
area,  where  a  relatively  precise  time  sequence  has  been  established.  The 
extension  of  this  method  to  the  Amazon  cultures,  however,  awaits  de- 
tailed study  of  the  whole  region.  At  present,  it  is  impossible  to  say  what 
the  actual  relationships  are. 

The  pottery  from  Santarem  presents  a  problem  because  it  differs  so 
markedly  from  that  in  the  rest  of  the  valley.  It  approaches  the  pottery 
of  the  Antilles  in  some  respects,  and  the  use  of  the  caryatid,  of  the  tripod, 
and  of  frogs  in  jumping  position  as  ornaments  are  characteristics  rem- 
iniscent of  Central  America. 

The  descriptions  given  in  this  account  must  be  recognized  as  tentative 
and  incomplete.  A  description  of  the  archeology  of  the  Amazon  is  largely 
a  story  of  problems  unsolved  and  work  still  to  be  done.  To  date,  this  area 
has  attracted  the  interest  of  few  trained  archeologists.  The  written  sources 
offer  few  details  of  the  sites  and  circumstances  of  discovery  of  the  pottery, 


and  even  these  are  often  contradictory.  Another  difficulty  is  that  the 
Amazon  Valley  has  never  been  mapped  in  detail.  As  a  result  many  of 
the  places  referred  to  in  the  early  literature  cannot  be  found  on  a  map. 
The  pottery  in  museum  collections  is  not  accompanied  by  any  information 
about  its  excavation  and,  although  attempts  have  been  made  to  draw  con- 
clusions from  its  study,  much  more  could  be  gained  by  a  few  sessions  in 
the  field.  Nimuendaju  has  engaged  in  some  explorations  in  recent  years, 
and  the  publication  of  his  findings  should  contribute  substantially  to  our 


Mounds. — Since  1870,  Marajo  Island  has  been  the  classic  spot  in 
Amazon  archeology.  Located  in  the  mouth  of  the  river  just  south  of  the 
Equator,  it  has  an  area  of  14,000  square  miles  and  an  elevation  of  about 
3  feet  (1  m.)  above  river  level  in  the  dry  season.  At  this  time  of  the  year 
all  but  a  few  of  the  larger  rivers  are  dry  and  water  is  scarce.  The  opposite 
situation  occurs  in  the  wet  season,  when  the  greater  part  of  the  island  is 
flooded.  The  north  central  section  is  rendered  uninhabitable  by  the  pres- 
ence of  immense  swamps.  In  the  west  are  dense  forests.  Across  most 
of  the  remainder  of  the  island  stretch  the  level  campos,  broken  here  and 
there  by  clumps  of  trees  and  by  artificial  mounds. 

These  mounds  have  proved  a  fertile  field  for  the  archeologist.  More 
than  100  are  known,  and  these  are  usually  located  on  river  banks  or  at 
the  edges  of  lakes  or  swamps.  Some  were  evidently  used  only  as  dwell- 
ing sites.  Others  served  both  as  house  substructures  and  for  burial  pur- 
poses. It  has  not  been  determined  whether  any  were  used  exclusively 
for  burial.  Although  these  mounds  have  long  been  known,  few  of  them 
have  been  located  on  a  map  or  described  in  any  detail.  None  have  been 
scientifically  excavated.  No  conclusions  have  been  reached  about  their 
relative  age.  There  is  disagreement  as  to  whether  or  not  stratification  is 
present.  Opinion  is  also  divided  on  the  question  of  intentional  zoomorphic 

The  most  famous  of  the  mounds  is  Pacoval  in  Lake  Arari.  It  was  first 
described  by  Hartt  in  1871,  and  since  then  it  has  been  visited  repeatedly. 
It  is  located  close  to  the  east  shore  of  the  lake  immediately  south  of  the 
Igarape  das  Almas.  It  is  oblong  and  divided  into  two  parts,  the  main 
mound  and  a  small  one  at  the  north  end  of  it  and  separated  from  it  by  a 
channel.  The  north-south  length  is  about  90  m.  (290  ft.),  the  width  about 
38  m.  (125  ft.),  and  the  height  about  4  m.  (13  ft.)  when  the  water  level 
is  low.  Steere  (1927)  was  able  to  distinguish  three  strata  showing  dif- 
ferences in  pottery  design  and  other  ornaments,  with  the  best  examples 
in  the  lowest  level  and  the  poorest  at  the  top.  Penna  (1877)  confirmed 
this  sequence  on  his  visit  and  concluded  that  these  represented  phases  of 
a  declining  civilization.     Derby  (in  Hartt,  1885,  p.  22)  however  states 

154  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

that  "all  the  objects,  plain  as  well  as  ornamented,  were  encountered  near 
the  surface  and  in  the  middle  and  lower  parts  of  the  mound  so  that  it  does 
not  seem  possible  to  establish  divisions  in  the  deposit."  Although  stone 
objects  are  rare,  pottery  is  abundant  here  as  in  most  of  the  mounds. 
Penna  (1877,  p.  53)  speaks  of  pottery  as  covering  the  ground  like  a 
great  mosaic.  Lange  (1914,  p.  321)  was  able  to  collect  over  3,000  speci- 
mens in  the  course  of  a  week. 

Pottery  similar  to  that  from  Pacoval  is  found  at  Ilha  dos  Bichos,  a 
mound  of  about  half  an  acre  in  extent  which  rises  5  to  8  m.  (about  16 
to  26  ft.)  above  the  plain  along  Arari  River  north  of  Cachoeira.  This 
was  examined  by  Steere  in  1870,  and  he  distinguished  two  layers  of 
occupation  separated  by  a  layer  of  earth.  Burial  urns  were  visible  at 
different  levels  in  the  ravines  which  had  been  washed  in  the  sides  of 
the  mound. 

Along  the  Anajas  River  is  a  group  of  mounds  known  as  Os  Camutins. 
Derby  (in  Hartt,  1885,  pp.  23-25)  describes  four  in  some  detail  and 
states  that  his  informant  mentioned  12  in  a  distance  of  1^^  miles  (about 
2.4  km.),  all  but  one  on  the  east  side  of  the  river.  The  majority  are 
in  the  narrow  zone  of  trees  along  the  bank  but  at  least  two  are  farther 
off  on  the  plain.  The  principal  mound  has  a  length  of  approximately 
210  m.  (680  ft.),  a  width  of  80  m.  (260  ft.)  at  the  base,  and  a  height 
of  about  13  m.  (42  ft.)  above  the  level  of  the  surrounding  plain.  It  is 
covered  with  vegetation,  and  the  slopes  have  been  eroded  into  ravines. 
On  the  west  side  of  the  river  is  a  large  excavation  which  appears  to  have 
furnished  the  earth  for  the  construction  of  the  mounds.    Derby  states  that, 

the  pottery  encountered  in  the  largest  mound  of  the  Camutins  is  of  the  same  charac- 
ter as  that  from  Pacoval.  From  what  I  could  observe  it  appears  that  the  large  jars 
are  more  frequently  painted  than  incised,  contrary  to  what  is  observed  at  Pacoval. 
The  predominant  shape  is  large,  depressed  and  globular,  while  at  Pacoval  smaller 
sub-cylindrical  and  conical  forms  are  more  common.  These  observations  are  insuf- 
ficient as  a  basis  for  a  distinction  and  all  the  principal  shapes  are  represented  in  both 
sites.  Fragments  of  tangas  are  extremely  abundant,  but  no  complete  ones  were 
found.  The  majority  are  red  in  color  and  undecorated,  although  I  saw  some  painted 
like  those  from  Pacoval.    [Hartt,  1885,  p.  25.] 

Monte  Carmelo  is  located  near  the  source  of  the  Anajas  River.  Frag- 
ments of  pottery  are  exposed  here  from  the  river  bed  to  the  summit. 
Three  stratified  layers  were  observed  by  Holdridge  (1939).  The  top 
and  bottom  ones  contained  quantities  of  simple,  red  pottery  both  incised 
and  plain.  Between  these  two  was  a  layer  containing  the  highly  developed 
incised,  sculptured,  and  painted  ware  which  is  characteristic  of  the  highest 
development  on  Marajo. 

Teso  de  Severino  was  described  by  Mordini  (1934,  pp.  63-64).  This 
mound  is  located  near  the  Igarape  de  Severino,  a  tributary  of  Lake 
Aran.  It  has  been  completely  leveled  and  is  marked  only  by  a  ring 
of  old  trees  which  outlines  its  former  extent.    The  pottery  here  is  more 


Plate  15. — Amazonian    pottery    from    Counany.     Red-on-yellow   ware.     (After 

Goeldi,  1900,  pis.  1,  2,  3.) 

Plate  16.— Amazonian  burial  urns  from  Marajo.  a,  Modeled  hichrome  with 
white  shp  (height  approximately  3  ft.  (92  cm.)),  b,  Two  modeled  urns  both 
with  inverted  bowl  lids  and  found  superimposed.  These  represent  a  double 
burial  with  cremated  remains  in  small  urn  and  entire  body  in  larger  one 
(Total  height  approximately  4  ft.  7^  inches  (1.41  m.) .)  c,  Modeled  champlev^ 
urn  with  white  paint  filler  in  designs  (height  approximately  1  ft.  (30  cm.)). 
d,  White-shpped  incised  (height  approximately  1  ft.  (30  cm.)).  (Courtesy 
University  Museum,  Philadelphia.) 


Plate  17. — Amazonian  pottery  from  Marajo.  a.  Platter-bowl  with  annular 
base,  white-slipped  with  some  interior  painting.  6,  White-slipped  and  incised 
urn  (height  9  inches  (23  cm.)),  c,  Unslipped  incised  (height  8  inches  (20  cm.)). 
d,  Interior  of  white-slipped,  incised  and  red  zoned  bowl  (greatest  diameter  17J4 
inches  (44.5  cm.)),  {a-c.  Courtesy  University  Museum,  Philadelphia;  d, 
courtesy  American  Museum  of  Natural  History.) 

Plate  18. — Amazonian  pottery  from  Marajo  and  Santarem.  n,  b,  Hollow 
figurines,  Santarem.  (Larger,  approximately  5  inches  (13  cm.)  high.)  c,  d, 
Marajo  effigy  burial  urns,  incised  white,  red  retouched  decoration.  (Respective 
heights,  14  inches  (35.5  cm.)  and  8%  inches  (21  cm.).)  e,  Marajo  red  on  white 
(heiglrt,  9  inches  (23  cm.).)  /,  Maraj6  incised  white,  red  retouched  (height, 
approximately  8  inches  (20  cm.).)  g,  Maraj6  red  and  blact  ;on  white  (height, 
7Ji  inches  (19.5  cm.).)  h-j,  Tangas,  or  women's  pottery  "fig  leaves."  (a,  b, 
Courtesy  University  Museum,  Philadelphia;  others,  courtesy  American  Mu- 
seum of  Natural  History.) 


advanced  in  design  and  technique  than  that  from  Pacoval.  The  clay  is 
finer  and  better  fired,  the  workmanship  more  careful,  and  the  vessels 
are  partly  covered  with  a  kind  of  glaze  probably  produced  by  the  resin  o^ 
jutaisica.  Tangas  found  here  are  decorated  with  complicated  stylized 
anthropomorphic  motifs.  The  characteristic  frieze  of  vertical  and  diagonal 
lines  with  the  intervening  spaces  painted  a  solid  color  found  on  tangas  from 
Pacoval,  does  not  occur  here. 

Santa  Izabel,  located  on  the  plain  northwest  of  Lake  Arari,  has 
also  been  leveled  to  the  surface  of  the  plain.  Penna  (1877,  p.  51) 
describes  the  artifacts  as  inferior  in  number  and  extent  to  those  o! 
Pacoval,  but  as  rivaling  the  ceramics  of  the  latter  in  choice  of  material 
and  perfection  of  designs,  painting,  and  relief. 

Fortaleza  was  visited  by  Farabee.    The  mound 

had  been  built  up  artificially  and  then  used  as  a  village  site.  Apparently  the  people 
had  cremated  the  remains  of  their  dead  and  buried  the  ashes  in  small  urns  in  the 
floor  of  their  houses.  These  urns  were  beautifully  decorated  with  incised  lines  or 
paint  or  both.  Many  plates,  small  bowls,  cooking  pots,  and  seats  were  found  buried 
with  these  urns.  [P.  145.]  Four  other  mounds  in  the  vicinity  were  excavated  but 
nothing  of  value  was  found.  They  had  been  used  as  house  sites  only,  as  was  indicated 
by  the  presence  of  ashes  and  fragments  of  pottery.    [Farabee,  1921  a,  p.  144.] 

Larenjeiras  is  located  northeast  of  Lago  Guajara.  It  is  5  m.  (15  ft.) 
in  height  and  covers  over  2  acres.     Pottery  of  all  types  is  abundant. 

These  brief  accounts  represent  practically  all  the  definite  information 
that  has  been  published  about  the  mounds.  A  dozen  more  are  mentioned 
by  name  and  vaguely  located  but  not  described  at  all,  Mordini  (1934, 
p.  62)  cites  Serra,  Teso  do  Gentios,  Menino  Deus,  and  Panellas  in 
the  area  enclosed  by  the  Ganhao  and  Cururu  Rivers  and  Lakes  IVIututi 
and  Asapao.  These  and  a  group  of  seven  small  mounds  on  the  road 
from  Cajuliros  to  Faz  Cafe  are  oval  and  oriented  in  an  east-west- 
direction.  Pacoval  do  Cururu,  IMataforme,  and  Ananatuba,  also  oval, 
are  oriented  north-south. 

Pottery. — In  general,  pottery  shapes  are  varied  but  the  paste  appears  to 
be  constant.  The  basic  clay  is  light  gray  which  turns  orange-red  in 
firing.  Sand  admixture  is  rare.  The  texture  varies  from  coarse  to  medium, 
depending  on  the  size  and  number  of  particles  of  pounded  sherd  used 
as  temper.  In  some  cases  these  are  large  enough  to  retain  traces  of 
the  original  white  slip.  IVIanufacture  was  by  the  coiling  method,  and 
overlapping  layers  are  visible  on  the  interiors  of  some  of  the  figurines. 
Firing  was  done  in  a  kiln  and  was  sufficient  to  change  the  color  of  the 
paste  only  on  the  surface,  except  in  cases  where  the  walls  were  thin. 

The  following  classification  of  wares  based  on  surface  finish  was  made 
by  Junius  Bird  after  an  examination  of  the  collection  from  Pacoval 
at  the  American  Museum  of  Natural  History.  These  were  probably 
not  all  contemporary  but  lack  of  documentation  makes  it  impossible 
to  establish  the  chronological  sequence. 


156  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Plain  ware. 

Incised  plain  ware.    Both  fine  and  broad  incised  lines  occur,  sometimes  combined 

witli  punctate  marks  (pi.  17,  c). 
Incised  white.    The  surface  is  covered  with  a  white  slip  and  decorated  with  fine 

incised  lines  (pis.  16,  d;  17,  b).  The  color  of  the  slip  varies  from  white  through 

cream  to  orange  as  a  result  of  variations  in  firing. 
Incised  white,  red  retouch.     Like  the  preceding  except  that  the  incised  design  is 

accented  in  places  by  the  addition  of  red  paint  to  the  incisions  (pis.  17,  d;  18,  /). 
Red  champleve.     Red   slipped  ware  in  which  the  background  or  field  of   the 

design  has  been  cut  back  from  the  original  surface  and  roughened. 
Red  champleve,  cream  paint  in  cuts.     The  design  is  produced  by  the  same  tech- 
nique as  in  the  preceding.     A   contrast  is  made  between  the  cut-out  parts 

and  the  rest  of  the  design  by  the  addition  of  a  light-colored  paint  to  the 

cuts  (pi.  16,  c). 
Double-slipped    champleve.      Here    the    red    slip    was    applied    over    a    white 

slip  and  shaved  off  in  the  cut-out  areas.    The  use  of  a  double  slip  produced 

the  same  contrast  as  the  preceding  method  but  eliminated  the  rough  surface 

caused  by  the  presence  of  tempering  granules  in  the  paste. 
Incised  plain  ware,  white  paint  inlay.    The  designs  are  applied  in  bands  around  the 

rim  and  are  composed  of  finely  incised  lines  and  a  deeply  gouged  background 

which  were  filled  with  white  paint. 
Painted  ware.    Painted  decoration  was  used  by  itself  or  in  combination  with  incised 

and  relief  ornament  (pis.  16,  a,  b;  18,  e,  g-j).    Red  and  brown  paint  were  used 

separately  or  together  on  a  light-colored  slipped  surface. 

Two  Other  types  occur  in  the  collection  at  the  Museum  of  Anthropol- 
ogy, University  of  Michigan: 

Incised  red.  The  decoration  is  in  simple  geometric  patterns  of  broad  incised  lines 
which  go  through  the  slip  to  the  orange  paste  surface  to  produce  a  two-color 

White  champleve.  The  incised  lines  and  indented  areas  show  the  orange 
original  surface  while  the  intervening  areas  have  a  white  slip. 

Nonfunerary  pottery  is  abundant  and  varied  in  forin.  Water  jars  with 
narrow  mouths  are  common  at  Pacoval.  Handles,  which  are  present  on 
some,  are  of  two  types :  two  protuberances  or  lugs  placed  below  the  rim, 
and  handles  perforated  for  the  insertion  of  a  cord.  Large  plates  or  dishes 
are  common  but  are  usually  recovered  only  as  fragments.  Bowls  vary  in 
shape  from  deep  flat-bottomed  ones  with  sloping  sides  to  shallow  concave 
ones.  Some  are  circular,  others  oval.  The  former  have  level  rims,  and 
the  rims  of  the  latter  rise  to  a  high  point  at  the  ends  and  slope  downward 
to  the  center  of  the  long  sides.  Decoration  on  this  type  is  painted  or 
incised,  and  relief  ornament  is  sometimes  found  on  the  rim.  Some  are 
decorated  both  on  the  interior  and  exterior  and  others  on  the  interior  only. 
An  unusual  form  is  a  bowl  with  a  flaring  annular  base  and  an  extremely 
broad  concave  horizontal  rim,  so  broad  that  it  almost  triples  the  diameter 
of  the  vessel  (pi.  17,  a).  The  interior  is  painted  red  or  brown  on  a  white 
or  cream  slip.  The  exterior  is  usually  unslipped  and  undecorated.  Of 
problematical  use  is  the  so-called  "offertorio"  of  the  older  writers.  It  is  a 
flat  or  slightly  concave  disk  on  a  slightly  flaring  annular  base.    A  few  are 


oval.  The  usual  size  is  about  17  cm.  (6^  in.)  in  diameter  and  7  cm. 
(2^  in.)  tall.  Some,  however,  are  only  half  this  large.  They  are  un- 
slipped  and  the  surface  of  the  disk  is  covered  with  incised  patterns.  In 
the  case  of  the  smaller  vessels  these  design  areas  are  often  cross-hatched 
An  anthropomorphic  face  in  low  relief  is  often  used  as  decoration  on  the 
side.    Anthropomorphic  and  zoomorphic  vessels  are  rare  (pi.  18,  c,  d). 

Jars  of  several  shapes  have  been  called  funerary  urns.  One  has  the 
form  of  two  truncated  cones  joined  together  at  a  point  about  one-fourth 
of  the  distance  from  the  bases  of  the  vessels  (pis.  16,  d;  17,  b).  Another 
type  has  a  globular  body  with  a  flat  bottom  and  a  cylindrical  neck  with 
an  everted  lip  (pi.  16,  c).  In  a  third  type  the  body  is  also  globular, 
but  the  neck  has  the  shape  of  a  short  truncated  cone  joined  to  the  body  at 
its  base  (pi.  18,  e,  g).  The  height  of  all  these  rarely  exceeds  60  cm.  (24 
in.).  Much  larger  are  the  urns  with  anthropomorphic  faces  in  relief  on  the 
neck  (pi.  16,  a,  b,  c).  These  may  be  as  much  as  95  cm.  (37  in.)  tall  with  a 
rim  diameter  of  75  cm.  (28  in.).  They  have  globular  bodies  which  taper 
down  to  an  extremely  small  flat  base  only  about  18  cm.  (5  in.)  in  diameter. 
The  neck  joins  the  body  at  a  pronounced  shoulder  and  terminates  in  a 
widely  flaring  rim.  The  greatest  diameter  of  the  body  is  only  a  little 
more  than  that  of  the  rim.  Two  anthropomorphic  faces  in  low  relief 
adorn  the  neck,  one  at  front  and  one  at  back.  A  small  human  figure  often 
occupies  the  intervening  space  at  each  side.  The  body  of  the  vessel  is 
covered  with  painted  decoration  in  large  curvilinear  patterns. 

Figurines. — Figurines,  or  "idolos,"  are  variations  of  the  seated  type 
found  in  many  parts  of  South  America.  The  larger  ones  are  hollow  (fig. 
16,  right).  The  legs  are  separated  and  rounded  at  the  end.  Often  there 
is  a  ridge  across  the  base  of  the  tip  to  represent  the  foot,  which  is  left 
smooth  or  marked  with  three  to  eight  toes.  Arms  are  shown  at  the  sides, 
raised,  or  only  suggested  by  a  protuberance  or  lateral  extension  at  each 
shoulder.  Heads  differ  in  shape  and  detail,  but  almost  invariably  the  nose 
and  eyebrows  are  joined  to  form  a  Y  or  T.  The  sex  is  usually  indicated 
and  is,  in  a  majority  of  cases,  female.  In  addition  to  these  separate 
figurines,  many  anthropomorphic  and  zoomorphic  heads  are  found  which 
once  were  part  of  the  relief  and  molded  decoration  of  vessels.  These  are 
generally  solid.  Some  show  traces  of  slip  and  decoration,  while  others 
have  the  orange-red  color  and  rather  rough  surface  of  the  unslipped  clay. 

Tangas. — Tangas,  which  are  found  in  abundance,  are  thought  to  have 
been  worn  by  the  women  as  a  pubic  covering  (pi.  18,  h-j).  They  are 
triangular  in  shape,  about  15  cm.  (6  in.)  long  and  12  cm.  (5  in.)  wide 
at  the  upper  edge.  The  upper  edge  is  convex  and  the  other  two  are  con- 
cave. The  inner  surface  is  concave  and  the  outer  convex.  There  is  a 
small  pierced  hole,  1  to  2  cm.  from  each  corner,  for  the  insertion  of  a  cord 
for  attachment  to  the  body.  Many  show  grooves  where  the  friction  of 
the  cord  has  worn  away  the  clay.    The  clay  used  is  always  very  fine,  and 


SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS        [B.A.E.  Bull.  143. 

Figure  16. — Maracd  and  Marajo  pottery.  Left:  Maracd  urn  (height,  approximately 
2j4  ft.  (75  cm.)).  Right:  Marajo  hollow  figurine  (red-on-white)  (height  24  cm. 
(9j/2  in.)  ).    (After  Nordenskiold,  1930  a,  pi.  18  and  Frontispiece.) 

the  objects  themselves  are  often  exceedingly  thin.  Both  surfaces  are 
smoothed  and  usually  slipped  either  red  or  white.  The  outer  surface  in 
the  latter  case  is  decorated  with  great  care  and  beauty  in  a  symmetrical 
pattern.  Mordini  (1934)  noted  that  the  majority  of  the  tangas  found  at 
Pacoval  show  consistently  the  same  border  pattern  across  the  top.  This 
was  not  found  on  tangas  from  Teso  de  Severino.  Tangas  with  dark  red 
slip  and  no  decoration  are  found  at  Camutins. 
Decorative  styles. — Holdridge  (1939,  p.  74)  states  that 

while  there  are  slight  regional  differences  in  the  pottery  designs  and  manner  of  execu- 
tion, there  is  a  general  identity  of  artistic  motives  and  technic  that  points  to  an  island- 
wide  cultural  integrity.  The  most  complicated  designs  found  in  the  Chaves  pottery 
can  be  duplicated  satisfactorily  in  a  piece  from  Soure. 

This  continuity  of  style  makes  it  possible  to  list  a  few  very  characteristic 
features.  One  of  the  most  common  geometrical  motifs  in  painted,  incised, 
or  relief  decoration  is  the  spiral  which  occurs  in  many  variations,  single 
and  interlocking.  Also  characteristic  are  stylized  representations  of  the 
human  face  which  occur  in  almost  an  infinite  variety  and  produce  a  sym- 
metrical design  used  on  tangas  as  well  as  on  funerary  urns  and  other 
vessels.     The  T  is  another  design  element  often  used.     The  sides  of 


funerary  urns  sometimes  show  an  H-like  motif  in  relief.  Relief  decoration 
was  usually  confined  to  the  rim  except  on  the  larger  vessels,  where  an- 
thropomorphic and  zoomorphic  heads  in  the  round  were  used  as  decoration 
on  rims  and  as  applique  on  the  sides.  These  as  well  as  the  figurines  show 
conventional  treatment  both  in  modeling  and  painting.  The  most  char- 
acteristic facial  feature  is  the  joining  of  the  eyebrows  and  nose  in  a  Y  or  T. 
Zoomorphic  heads  sometimes  have  coffee-bean  eyes  and  are  generally 
more  crude  than  the  anthropomorphic  heads.  Characteristic  of  the  latter 
are  a  double  protuberance  to  indicate  the  ear,  a  protuberance  on  the  top 
of  the  head,  and  conventional  painted  outlines  of  eyebrows,  eyes,  nose, 
mouth,  and  ears. 

Burial. — Secondary  urn  burial  was  practiced  throughout  the  island. 
The  urns  were  buried  in  the  mounds  and  the  most  richly  decorated  were 
sometimes  placed  inside  cruder  ones  for  protection.  A  shallow  bowllike 
cover  was  inverted  on  top  (pi.  16,  b).  At  Camutins,  the  large  urns 
contained  whole  bodies  placed  in  seated  position  while  the  small  urns  held 
the  ashes  of  cremated  individuals  (Farabee,  1921  a,  p.  145). 

When  the  urn  was  placed  in  the  grave,  the  bottom  of  the  hole  was  dug  to  fit  it, 
so  that  all  of  the  smaller  pieces  of  pottery  placed  with  the  dead  were  deposited  at 
the  side  of  the  neck  on  the  shoulder  of  the  urn.    [Ibid.,  p.  146.] 


Caviana. — Caviana  is  an  island  about  50  miles  long  lying  in  the  mouth 
of  the  Amazon  north  of  Marajo.  At  a  cemetery  in  the  southeast  of  the 
island,  Nimuendajii  (Linne,  1928  b)  excavated  a  group  of  funerary  urns. 
These  had  been  buried  directly  in  the  ground.  They  are  of  several  types 
and  show  diversity  in  the  technical  skill  of  the  makers  as  well  as  in  the 
shape  and  style  of  the  decoration  of  the  vessel.  An  urn  33  cm.  (13  in.) 
tall  with  the  mouth  at  the  side  and  a  tiered  profile  was  found  at  Apany.  A 
similar  vessel  from  Para  was  described  by  Joyce  (1912).  Both  are  crudely 
made  and  have  applique  decoration  of  lumps  of  clay.  A  more  advanced 
type  is  a  semicylindrical  urn  with  a  stylized  human  figure  outlined  in  low 
relief  on  one  side.  A  third  type  has  painted  decoration  reminiscent  of  that 
found  on  pottery  from  Ukupi  and  Cunany.  A  seated  anthropomorphic 
urn  illustrated  by  Nordenskiold  (1930  a,  pi.  20)  resembles  those  from 
Maraca.  The  features  are  in  low  relief,  and  the  painted  decoration  is  red 
and  gray. 

Glass  beads,  metal  knives  and  axes,  and  small  brass  bells  from  European 
trade  were  found  with  the  urns  and  establish  their  origin  as  post- 
Columbian.  Small  objects,  possibly  ornaments,  of  greenstone  were  also 

In  the  urns,  the  smallest  bones  were  placed  at  the  bottom,  the  large  ones 
at  the  sides,  and  the  skull  on  top.  A  single  urn  sometimes  contained  the 
remains  of  more  than  one  individual.    Occasional  anthropomorphic  urns 

160  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

have  two  faces,  and  Linne  (1928  b,  p.  79)  postulates  that  such  an  urn  was 
destined  to  contain  two  skeletons. 

Although  its  geographical  position  is  that  of  a  link  between  Mara  jo  and 
Brazilian  Guiana,  culturally  Caviana  is  most  closely  allied  with  the  main- 
land. The  differences  which  exist  between  it  and  Marajo  are  striking. 
The  only  features  which  are  common  to  both  are  secondary  urn  burial 
and  the  custom  of  painting  the  bones  red.  The  absence  of  mounds,  the 
anthropomorphic  character  of  the  urns,  and  the  style  of  relief  and  painted 
decoration  indicate  stronger  affiliations  between  Caviana  and  the  coast  to 
the  north.  Nimuendaju  (Linne,  1928  b)  has  explained  this  by  the  theory 
that  the  inhabitants  of  Caviana,  the  Arud,  immigrated  from  Brazilian 
Guiana  and  returned  there  when  the  pressure  of  the  Europeans  became 
too  strong. 

Maraca. — This  site  has  been  known  since  1870.  It  is  located  on  a  small 
tributary  of  the  Maraca  River  which  flows  through  Brazilian  Guiana  and 
empties  into  the  Amazon  almost  at  the  Equator.  There  are  no  mounds. 
The  pottery  was  found  in  natural  grottos  at  the  edge  of  a  plain  close  to  the 
river.  Funerary  urns  are  abundant,  and  the  majority  are  in  the  form  of 
a  human  being  seated  on  a  bench.  The  trunk,  arms,  and  legs  are  cylindrical 
(fig.  16,  left).  The  head  which  forms  the  cover  is  about  18  cm.  (7  in.) 
high  and  has  a  flat  top  covered  with  small  knobs.  The  features  of  the  face 
are  made  by  ribbons  of  clay  and  are  enclosed  at  top  and  sides  by  a  relief 
stripe.  The  sex  is  either  male  or  female.  These  figures  often  have  painted 
ornaments,  and  Nordenskiold  (1930  a,  p.  20)  reports  that  the  calf  of  the 
leg  is  swollen,  indicating  perhaps  that  binding  was  practiced  by  the  people. 
One  of  these  urns  was  ornamented  with  green,  blue,  and  white  glass  beads 
attached  to  the  arms  and  spine.  These  date  from  the  17th-century  Euro- 
pean trade  contact  and  indicate  the  manufacture  of  these  urns  in  the  post- 
Columbian  period.  Zoomorphic  urns  in  this  same  tubular  style  have  also 
been  found  in  the  caves. 

The  paste  is  coarse  and  composed  of  clay  mixed  with  sand.  Cariape  (a 
vegetal  temper)  does  not  appear  to  have  been  used.  The  workmanship 
is  crude ;  the  vessel  walls  are  thick  and  irregular,  and  the  surface  is  rough. 
Paint  was  restricted  to  the  ornaments  mentioned  above,  and  the  surface 
of  the  vessel  as  a  whole  exhibits  the  tan  to  orange-brown  color  produced 
by  firing.  Firing  was  not  thorough  enough  to  bake  the  walls  through,  and 
the  interior  retains  the  original  dark  gray  color. 

According  to  Penna  (1877),  these  urns  contained  entire  skeletons.  The 
bones  were  arranged  with  the  pelvis  at  the  bottom,  the  rest  of  the  bones 
along  the  sides,  and  the  skull  on  top. 

Cunany. — The  Cunany  site  on  the  coast  of  Brazilian  Guiana  was  dis- 
covered by  Coudreau  in  1883  and  described  in  detail  by  Goeldi  in  1895 
( 1900) .  The  funerary  urns  were  found  in  artificial  subterranean  galleries. 
Goeldi  offered  the  hypothesis  that  the  ancestors  of  the  builders  lived  in  an 


area  where  caves  occurred  naturally  and  were  used  as  repositories  for 
burial  urns.  Their  descendents,  accustomed  to  this  situation  and  finding 
no  natural  caves  in  this  new  area,  constructed  substitutes.  Fragments  of 
pottery  identical  with  those  from  Cunany  were  found  recently  by 
Nimuendaju  (Linne,  1928  b)  in  a  cave  of  Mont  Ukupi  near  the  Arucara 
River.  If  Goeldi's  hypothesis  is  correct,  these  later  discoveries  may  be  of 
greater  age.  Linne  (1928  b,  p.  73)  states  that  it  is  possible  to  detect  some 
evolution  in  the  painted  decoration.  The  Cunany  urns  are  believed  to  be 
post-Columbian  or  contemporary  with  the  Conquest. 

The  paste  is  gray  or  bluish  in  cross  section.  The  amount  of  sand  is 
small  and  large  amounts  of  crushed  sherds  were  used  as  temper,  especially 
in  the  thick-walled  vessels.  A  microscopic  examination  showed  no  ad- 
mixture of  ashes  of  caraipe  or  of  sponges.  Firing  was  sufficient  to  bake 
the  thin-walled  vessels  but  those  with  thick  walls  show  a  poorly  baked 
center.    Fine  white  clay  was  used  as  a  slip. 

A  variety  of  forms  are  found,  almost  all  of  which  are  divided  into 
horizontal  zones  by  the  more  or  less  sharp  changes  in  plane  of  the  vessel 
wall,  by  relief  bands,  or  by  changes  in  design  motif.  Shapes  include  large 
jars  with  globular  bodies  and  straight  necks ;  jars  with  small  bases,  con- 
stricted necks  and  wide  rims,  often  with  anthropomorphic  facial  features 
in  low  relief  (pi.  15,  d,  g)  ;  bowls  with  vertical  sides  and  flaring  rims  (pi. 
15,  h,  i)  ;  rectangular  vessels  with  flat  bottoms  and  outward  flaring  sides 
(pi.  15,  c,  e)  ;  and  oval  "boat-shaped"  vessels  on  a  cylindrical  pedestal 
(pi.  15,  a). 

Ornament  is  painted  and  relief.  Painted  designs  are  red  on  a  yellowish 
slip.  The  rim  and  base  are  sometimes  painted  solid  red.  Frets,  spirals, 
steps,  commas,  and  a  rambling  three-line  design  are  typical  geometrical 
motifs.  The  corners  are  occasionally  ornamented  with  a  row  of  vertical 
notches.  Relief  decoration  includes  the  outline  of  a  human  face  on  the  rim 
and  of  the  human  body  on  the  body  of  the  vessel,  and  anthropomorphic  and 
zoomorphic  figures  in  the  round  jutting  out  from  the  sides  of  bowls  and 
rectangular  vessels. 

All  of  the  vessel  shapes  listed  above  except  the  large  jars  with  globular 
bodies  and  straight  necks  were  recorded  by  Goeldi  as  having  contained 
traces  or  fragments  of  human  bones. 

Rio  Calsoene. — On  high  points  along  the  coast  of  Brazil  north  of  the 
Amazon,  as  for  example  on  the  Calsoene  River  and  on  the  tributaries  of 
the  Cunany  River,  rows  of  stones  have  been  found.  The  largest  of  these 
is  located  on  the  Estancia  Jose  Antonio  on  the  north  bank  of  the  lower 
Calsoene  River.  It  is  100  m.  (325  ft.)  long  but  has  been  damaged  in 
many  places.  One  hundred  and  fifty  stones  of  all  sizes  are  visible  above 
ground.  The  largest  measures  2  m.  (6^ft.)  by  70  cm.  (26^/2  in.)  by 
25  cm.  (9^4  in.),  and  has  an  estimated  weight  of  600  kilograms  (1,323 
lbs. ) .    These  stones  must  have  been  brought  from  a  considerable  distance, 

162  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

an  enormous  task  with  primitive  methods  of  hauling  and  transportation. 
Excavations  made  by  Nimuendaju  (Linne,  1928  b)  show  that  these  rocks 
were  not  placed  over  graves.  Little  pottery  was  found  in  the  vicinity,  and 
much  of  that  was  in  a  fragmentary  state.  A  vessel  with  a  wide  mouth 
was  covered  with  a  large  stone  slab  and  protected  by  two  stones  at  the 
sides.  A  few  other  similar  objects  have  been  discovered  in  the  ground. 
To  explain  these  structures  we  must  resort  to  speculation,  but  it  seems 
probable  that  they  had  a  religious  purpose. 

Ilha  de  Carao. — Ilha  de  Carao  is  located  in  a  swamp  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Mayacare  River.  On  it  is  a  mound  about  10  meters  (33  ft.)  long 
and  2.2  meters  (6  ft.  8  inches)  high.  It  is  stratified  into  three  distinct 
layers.  The  lowest,  composed  of  ashes,  is  70  cm.  (26>4  in.)  thick  and 
covered  with  a  thick  layer  of  potsherds.  These  appear  to  be  mainly 
from  platters  as  much  as  80  cm.  (30^^  in.)  in  diameter.  They  show 
incised  decorations  as  well  as  traces  of  red  and  white  paint.  The  second 
stratum  is  about  50  cm.  (19^  in.)  thick  and  composed  of  gray  dirt. 
On  top  is  a  layer  of  yellow  clay  1  meter  (3  ft.  3  in.)  thick.  Some 
stones  belonging  to  the  same  category  as  those  described  from  the  Cal- 
soene  River  had  been  set  up  on  the  summit.  Pottery  fragments  in  the 
two  upper  layers  were  so  badly  disintegrated  that  only  sherds  from  a 
few  small  vessels  were  preserved. 

The  three  layers  of  the  mound  do  not  appear  to  correspond  to  three  diflferent 
cultures.  While  the  thick  debris  of  the  lowest  level  may  be  the  product  of  an 
independent  ancient  population,  it  must  be  recognized  that  the  differences  of  technique, 
decoration,  etc.  are  not  great  enough  to  furnish  absolute  proof  for  this  hypothesis. 
The  pottery  of  the  two  upper  layers  appears  to  belong  to  a  single  period,  although 
some  vessels  are  buried  deeper  than  others.    [Linne,  1928  b,  pp.  75-76.] 

This  mound  was  apparently  constructed  prior  to  European  contact  since 
no  object  of  European  origin  or  showing  European  influence  has  been 
found  associated  with  it. 


Distribution. — ^The  lower  Tapajoz  River  is  the  center  of  another  cul- 
ture type.  Evidence  was  meager  until  the  summer  of  1922  when  a 
cloudburst  washed  out  the  streets  of  Santarem  and  uncovered  stone  tools 
and  a  great  quantity  of  pottery.  Much  was  saved  through  the  efforts 
of  NimuendajtJL,  and  a  subsequent  survey  by  him  has  made  it  possible 
to  outline  the  boundaries  of  the  complex.  It  extends  up  the  Tapajoz 
to  Aramanahy  and  is  represented  by  numerous  inland  sites  on  the  right 
bank.  On  the  left,  there  is  a  site  at  Boim.  To  the  east,  remains  are 
common  as  far  as  Taperinha  and  scattered  to  the  eastern  limit  at  Bocca 
de  Coaty  on  the  Jaraucu  River,  a  tributary  of  the  lower  Xingii.  The 
western  limit  is  Serra  de  Parintins  and  there  are  numerous  sites  on 
both  banks  of  the  Arapiuns  River,  a  tributary  entering  the  Tapajoz 


northwest  of  Santarem,  and  in  the  region  of  Lago  Grande  de  Villa 
Franca.  North  of  the  Amazon  there  are  some  sites  around  Monte 
Alegre,  but  Nimuendaju  found  nothing  between  here  and  Obidos 
(Palmatary,  1939,  pp.  4-5). 

Ceramics. — The  pottery  of  this  area  is  perhaps  the  most  remarkable  in 
the  Amazon  Valley.  The  paste  is  light  gray  in  cross  section  and  light 
tan  on  the  surface.  Santarem  pottery  is  notable  for  its  unusual  shapes 
and  profusion  of  modeled  bird  and  animal  ornament  (fig.  17).  Many 
vessels  show  traces  of  red  paint  and  some  of  a  white  slip.  Among  the 
principal  forms  are :  ( 1 )  A  six-lobed  vessel  resting  on  a  flaring  annular 
base  or  small  caryatid.  The  neck  is  tall  and  narrow  and  flares  out  in 
one  or  more  places  to  form  a  flange  or  series  of  flanges.  At  two  opposite 
sides  of  the  body,  the  lobe  is  extended  outward  and  upward  and  terminates 
in  a  stylized  bird  head  with  the  beak  curved  downward  in  a  loop.  Other 
decoration  consists  of  animals  modeled  in  the  round,  geometrical  relief 
patterns,  and  lightly  incised  geometrical  designs.  (2)  A  bowl  supported 
on  a  caryatid  with  an  hour-glass-shaped  base.  The  bowl  has  a  vertical 
rim  which  is  decorated  with  an  incised  pattern.  At  the  widest  diameter 
modeled  ornament  is  attached.  (3)  A  bowl  with  almost  vertical  sides, 
a  flat  bottom,  and  a  concentric,  or  trough  rim.  The  two  edges  of  the 
trough  are  connected  at  four  regular  intervals  by  a  wide  loop.  (4)  A 
tall  jar  with  a  narrow  base.  The  greatest  diameter  is  about  one-fourth 
of  the  distance  from  the  base  and  above  this  the  sides  slope  inward  to 
the  rim.  The  height  is  about  34  cm.  (12)^  inches).  There  is  little  or 
no  relief  and  no  incised  decoration.  (5)  A  jar  with  a  globular  body  and 
a  short  vertical  neck  with  a  wide  mouth.  The  base  is  flat  or  slightly 
pointed.  Decoration  is  relief  or  incised.  (6)  Numerous  small  vessels 
in  four-lobed  and  other  exotic  shapes.  (7)  Effigy  vessels  in  seated  posi- 
tions with  globular  bodies.  Two  illustrated  by  Palmatary  (1939,  figs. 
3-4)  are  covered  with  painted  geometrical  figures  in  red  and  black  on 
a  light-colored  background.  (8)  Seated  figurines  (pi.  18,  a,  h).  These 
are  hollow  and  larger  on  the  average  than  those  found  at  Mara j 6.  The 
top  of  the  leg  slopes  downward  toward  the  tip.  The  hands  are  placed  at 
the  side,  on  the  leg,  or  on  the  chest.  Numerous  anthropomorphic  and 
zoomorphic  figures  and  heads  are  found  which  were  part  of  the  ornament 
of  vessels.  These  are  generally  small  and  solid.  Anthropomorphic  heads, 
whether  figurines  or  part  of  the  applied  decoration  of  vessels,  show 
various  conventional  traits :  a  headdress  resembling  a  diadem,  an  oblong 
nose,  and  ears  indicated  by  a  double  prominence  or  with  the  lobe  pierced 
for  the  insertion  of  an  ornament.  The  eyes  are  commonly  coffee-bean 
or  a  horizontal  ribbon  of  clay,  although  there  are  numerous  other  types 
(Palmatary,  1939).  Zoomorphic  heads  are  abundant  and  represent  a 
great  variety  of  animals  and  birds.  Some  of  the  most  common  of  these 
appear  to  have  been  conventionalized  and  conform  rigidly  to  the  con- 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Figure  17. — Santarem  pottery.    (After  Palmatary,  1939,  figs.  2  and  7.) 

vention  in  modeling  and  decoration.  The  jaguar  has  a  wide-open  mouth, 
the  agouti  has  its  front  paws  drawn  up  under  the  chin,  birds  have  down- 
curved  beaks,  etc.  Ahnost  all  have  the  round-rimmed  protuberant  type 
of  eye. 


Burials. — In  spite  of  a  diligent  search,  no  burials  have  been  discovered 
in  this  area.  The  explanation  probably  lies  in  the  method  of  disposing 
of  the  dead  which  was  described  by  Heriarte  in  the  17th  century 
(Nordenskiold,  1930  a).  The  body  was  left  exposed  until  the  flesh  had 
decayed  away.  The  bones  were  then  pulverized  and  the  powder  mixed 
with  chicha,  which  was  drunk. 


Miracanguera. — Miracanguera  extends  about  5  miles  (8  km.)  along 
the  north  bank  of  the  Amazon  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  Madeira  River. 
According  to  Nimuendaju,  it  has  been  ravaged  by  flood  waters.  Penna, 
writing  in  1877,  reported  that  most  of  the  clay  objects  were  found  isolated 
from  each  other.  The  material  is  a  fine  clay  slightly  reddish-gray  in 
color.  It  contains  no  sand.  A  white  slip  was  used  and  there  are  traces 
of  red  paint.  Some  of  the  remains  indicate  a  high  degree  of  development 
of  the  ceramic  art,  but  were  too  fragmentary  for  description.  Penna's 
conclusion  was  that  the  ceramics  of  this  area  were  inferior  to  those  from 
Santa  rem  and  the  lower  Amazon. 

A  funerary  urn  from  Itacoatiara,  just  down  the  river,  is  illustrated 
by  Netto  (1885,  Est.  VA).  The  round  bottom  rests  on  a  short  pedestal. 
The  sides  slope  inward  slightly  at  the  neck  and  then  flare  out  to  the 
rim.  A  bowlike  cover  fits  perfectly  over  the  top.  The  exterior  is  covered 
with  a  white  slip.  On  one  side  of  the  neck  is  an  anthropomorphic  face 
with  the  features  in  low  relief. 

Manaos. — The  city  of  Manaos  is  located  on  the  north  bank  of  the 
Amazon  near  the  mouth  of  the  Rio  Negro,  about  900  miles  (1,440  km.) 
above  Belem.  Although  it  has  been  known  as  an  archeological  site  since 
the  end  of  the  last  century,  we  still  have  to  rely  largely  on  the  descriptions 
of  early  travelers  for  information.  There  are  a  few  articles  in  museums 
but  these  are  accompanied  b}'  no  information  about  their  source. 

The  funerary  urns  were  buried  just  below  ground  level.  Steere  (1927, 
p.  25)  visited  Manaos  in  1870  and  "on  the  parade  ground  of  the  Brazilian 
troops  stationed  there,  I  saw  the  rims  of  several  burial  urns  which  were 
being  worn  down  by  the  bare  feet  of  the  soldiers."  Marcoy  (quoted 
by  Metraux,  1930  a,  p.  174)  describes  the  urns: 

These  vessels,  made  of  a  coarse  paste  of  an  obscure  red-brown  color,  are  at  the 
level  of  the  ground.  Their  height  varies  from  70  cm.  (26^  in.)  to  1  m.  (3  ft.,  3  in.)  ; 
the  diameter  of  the  mouth  is  about  40  cm.  (IS^/^  in.).  Crude  designs,  lozanges, 
zig-zags,  chevrons,  billets  are  painted  in  black  on  their  sides.  Some  have  a  cover,  but 
the  majority  are  open  and  empty. 

Metraux  has  described  the  collection  at  the  Musee  du  Trocadero  in 
Paris.  Only  one  piece  is  intact,  a  bowl  on  a  flaring  annular  base.  The 
decoration  is  in  low  relief.  There  are  many  fragments  including  a  rim 
sherd  with  a  flat  vertical  handle  ornamented  with  lines  ending  in  volutes. 

166  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  color  of  the  clay  is  rose-gray.  There  are  numerous  heads  of  birds 
and  animals  that  were  used  as  ornament  on  vessels. 

Teflfe. — Pottery  discovered  at  the  mouth  of  the  Teffe  River  shows 
similarities  both  with  Santarem  and  with  Marajo.  The  extension  of  the 
eyebrows  to  form  the  nose  so  common  on  Marajo  occurs  here.  The 
zoomorphic  heads  are  similar  to  those  from  Santarem,  and  there  are  other 
striking  resemblances  between  the  pottery  of  the  two  areas. 

Japura. — Farther  west,  above  Macupury  on  the  Japura  River,  a  burial 
urn  containing  badly-preserved  bones  was  discovered.  It  is  42  cm.  (1654 
in.)  tall  and  37.5  cm.  (14^  in.)  at  the  largest  diameter.  The  domelike 
cover  is  23  cm.  (9  in.)  in  diameter  and  fits  the  mouth  of  the  vessel  exactly. 
The  features  of  the  anthropomorphic  face  on  the  neck  are  in  relief  and  are 
enclosed  by  an  incised  line  which  runs  across  the  forehead  and  perpendicu- 
larly down  the  sides,  ending  in  a  relief  volute  on  each  side  below  the  level 
of  the  mouth.  The  urn  is  covered  with  a  white  slip  and  decorated  at  the 
largest  diameter  with  a  red  band  6  cm.  (2^  in.)  wide. 

For  bibliographic  references,  see  page  151. 


By  Charles  Wagley  and  Eduardo  Galvao 


Isolated  from  other  Tupi-Guarani-speaking  people,  the  Tapirape  live 
in  Central  Brazil,  west  of  the  Araguaya  River  and  north  of  the  Tapirape 
River,  a  western  tributary  flowing  into  the  Araguaya  near  the  northern 
tip  of  the  Island  of  Bananal  (lat.  2°  S.,  long.  52°  W.).  According  to 
tradition,  the  Tapirape  lived  for  a  time  on  the  banks  of  the  Araguaya  and 
Javahe  Rivers  with  the  Carajd.  They  quarreled,  and  the  Tapirape  moved 
west  to  their  present  territory  (map  1,  No.  1;  see  Volume  1,  map  7). 
At  the  beginning  of  last  century,  five  Tapirape  villages  formed  a  line 
stretching  northward  into  Cayapo  country  beginning  at  a  point  a  few 
miles  back  from  the  Tapirape  River  about  1 50  miles  from  its  mouth.  The 
Tapirape  have  always  been  at  war  with  the  Cayapo,  except  for  a  brief 
period.  Each  of  these  villages  contained  at  least  200  individuals  with  a 
total  Tapirape  population  of  about  1,000.  Since  1900,  however,  there 
has  been  a  terrific  reduction  of  Tapirape  population. 

In  1939,  there  was  only  one  remaining  Tapirape  village  situated  about 
20  miles  north  of  the  Tapirape  River  with  a  total  population  of  147  people. 
This  decline  in  population  is  basically  due  to  disease  (smallpox,  respira- 
torial  diseases,  etc.)  acquired  either  directly  from  Neo-Brazilians  or  from 
the  Carajd,  who  are  continually  in  contact  with  Neo-Brazilians.  Tapirape 
groups  have  been  also  m.assacred  on  several  occasions  by  both  the  Carajd 
and  Cayapo. 

The  Tapirape  have  had  but  few  contacts,  however,  with  Neo-Brazilians.  Except 
for  the  demoralizing  effect  of  depopulation,  their  culture  has  been  little  modified. 
Although  stories  are  told  of  Neo-Brazilian  hunters  visiting  the  Tapirape  in  1909, 
the  first  registered  contact  with  them  was  in  1912.  During  that  year,  Senor  Manda- 
curu,  leading  an  expedition  of  the  Brazilian  Indian  Protection  Service,  visited  the 
village  nearest  the  Tapirape  River.  In  1914,  the  Dominican  priests  visited  the 
Tapirape.  From  that  date  on,  the  Dominicans  returned  each  year  or  so  to  a  camp 
on  the  Tapirape  River  for  3  or  4  days  at  a  time  and  were  met  by  the  Tapirape,  to 
whom  they  distributed  trade  goods.  About  1934,  a  Protestant  missionary,  Frederick 
Kiegel,  made  several  trips,  staying  2  or  3  months  in  a  Tapirape  village.  In  1935, 
the  first  trained  ethnologist,  Dr.  Herbert  Baldus,  resided  several  months  with  the 
Tapirape,  and  in  1939^10,  Wagley  spent  12  months  with  them  making  the  study 
on  which  this  article  is  based. 


168  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


The  region  inhabited  by  the  Tapirape  is  one  of  dense  tropical  forest; 
yet  near  the  Tapirape  River  and  parallel  to  its  small  tributaries,  there  are 
great  strips  of  semiarid  savanna  country  characterized  by  scrub  growth 
and  groups  of  buriti  palms.  These  plains  are  flooded  during  the  excessive 
rains  from  October  to  April,  and  they  are  arid  during  the  latter  part  of  the 
dry  season  (May  through  September). 

Farming. — The  Tapirape  make  great  clearings  in  the  forest  for  their 
villages,  traveling  occasionally  to  the  savanna  country  for  hunting.  Their 
large  gardens  guarantee  them  an  economy  of  abundance.  They  plant  sev- 
eral varieties  of  both  sweet  and  poisonous  manioc,  four  varieties  of  maize, 
pumpkins,  beans,  peppers,  cara  (Dioscorea  sp.)  and  yams,  peanuts, 
squash,  several  varieties  of  bananas  and  beans,  cotton,  and  papaya. 

Each  year,  from  June  to  September,  the  men  clear  away  the  forest  for 
[heir  gardens.  Clearing  is  frequently  done  individually ;  frequently  also 
it  is  done  cooperatively  by  the  men's  ceremonial  moiety  groups  in  a  work 
festival  (apaciru).  When  communally  prepared,  the  large  clearings  are 
afterward  divided  into  individual  garden  lots.  Gardens  are,  thus,  gener- 
ally individual  property;  now  and  again,  however,  a  younger  man  plants 
together  with  an  older  man  (his  father-in-law)  or  a  close  relative.  When 
clearing  is  done  by  apaciru,  plots  are  allocated  for  ceremonial  moiety 
leaders,  who  use  the  produce  during  the  harvest  feast  (kao)  at  the  end 
of  the  rainy  season.  Vegetation  and  tree  trunks,  cut  down  during  the 
dry  season  and  left  to  dry,  are  burned  in  September,  Just  after  the  first 
rains  of  October,  planting  is  begun.  All  crops  are  planted  without  order 
or  division  within  the  garden  plot,  and  weeds  are  never  cleared  away  as 
the  garden  grows.  All  gardening  is  done  by  men  except  the  planting  and 
harvesting  of  peanuts  and  cotton,  which  is  done  entirely  by  women. 

Harvest  takes  place  as  the  various  crops  ripen.  Maize  planted  in  late 
October  or  early  November  ripens  in  January ;  in  April  and  May  squash, 
cara,  beans,  etc.  begin  to  ripen.  Manioc  is  harvested  as  needed  throughout 
the  year.  All  food  from  the  gardens  is  said  to  belong  to  the  wife  once  it 
is  brought  into  the  house. 

Garden  plots  are  planted  for  2  years  and  then  abandoned.  The  second 
year  only  manioc  is  generally  planted  in  the  plot.  Yet  each  year  a  new 
plot  is  cleared  from  virgin  forest  and  thus  each  gardener  has  generally 
two  current  garden  plots — one  newly  cleared  and  a  second-year  plot  planted 
with  manioc.  The  lack  of  virgin  forest  on  high  ground  for  garden  clear- 
ings within  accessible  distance  to  the  village,  as  well  as  the  fear  of  the 
spirits  of  recent  dead,  force  the  Tapirape  to  move  their  village  site  each 
4  or  5  years  to  a  new  site. 

Manioc  is  by  far  the  most  important  Tapirape  crop,  as  manioc  flour  is 
the  basis  of  their  diet.    Different  from  other  Tupi  groups,  however,  the 


Tapirape  do  not  use  the  tipiti  (the  long  woven  tube  in  which  the  water  is 
squeezed  from  poisonous  manioc) ,  but  squeeze  poisonous  manioc  with  their 
hands.  The  pulp  is  then  spread  out  on  a  platform  in  the  sun  to  be  thor- 
oughly dried.    The  flour  is  toasted  in  a  clay  pot  over  a  very  hot  fire. 

Wild  foods. — Meat  is  a  definite  luxury  to  the  agricultural  Tapirape. 
Monkeys,  armadillos,  forest  fowls,  cuati  (Nasua  sp.),  and  both  kinds  of 
peccary  (Tayassus  tajacii  and  T.  pecari)  are  occasionally  killed  in 
the  forest  at  any  time  during  the  year.  The  hunting  and  fishing  season, 
however,  is  from  June  through  October,  when  the  savanna  country  is  dry. 
The  savannas  are  extraordinarily  rich  with  game.  Plains  deer,  wild  pigs, 
peccary,  and  wild  duck,  and  geese  near  the  drying  swamps  are  plentiful. 

Fish  are  shot  with  the  bow  and  arrow  and  stupefied  with  timbo 
(Paullinea  pinnata  or  Serjania  sp.)  in  the  almost  dry  streams  and  lakes. 
The  village  is  almost  deserted  in  September  and  October,  after  garden 
sites  have  been  cleared  and  before  planting.  Men,  women,  and  children 
move  out  to  the  plains  country  near  the  Tapirape  River  and  set  up  a 
temporary  camp.  They  collect  turtle  eggs  and  kill  turtles  in  the  river. 
They  gather  piqui  fruit  (Caryocar  vellosum),  andiroba  {Carapa  guya- 
nensis) ,  and  other  wild  fruits,  and,  from  October  through  November,  they 
find  wild  honey  both  on  the  savanna  and  in  the  forest. 

Hunting  is  done  with  the  bow  and  arrow,  but  a  club  is  used  to  finish 
the  kill,  especially  wild  pigs  or  jaguars. 


The  houses  of  a  Tapirape  village  form  an  oval  around  a  large  ceremonial 
men's  house  (takana),  which  is  forbidden  to  the  women.  Both  the  large 
men's  house,  approximately  20  by  65  feet  (6  by  20  m.),  and  the  residential 
houses,  averaging  13  by  33  feet  (4  by  10  m.),  have  a  quadrangular  floor 
plan  with  arched  roofs  made  by  bending  flexible  poles  and  tying  them 
together  over  a  roof  beam  (pi.  19,  bottom,  lejt).  The  walls  and  the  roof 
are  covered  with  leaves  of  buriti  palm  and  wild  banana. 

In  the  surviving  village,  called  Tampitawa,  there  were  nine  residential 
houses,  each  housing  from  four  to  eight  simple  families.  Each  family 
occupies  a  determined  sector  of  the  house  where  they  cook,  keep  their 
belongings,  and  hang  their  sleeping  hammocks.  Household  utensils,  such 
as  baskets,  pots,  hammocks,  and  gourds,  are  owned  by  the  women  of  each 
simple  family.  Houses,  though  built  by  men,  are  said  to  be  the  property 
of  the  women  of  the  house.  The  house  frame  is  constructed  cooperatively 
by  all  the  men  of  the  house.  Each  man  covers  the  portion  to  be  used  by 
his  wife  and  children. 

Ideally,  residence  is  matrilocal,  and  the  house  is  inhabited  by  a  group 
of  closely  related  women  and  their  husbands.  The  household  leader  is 
generally  the  husband  of  the  oldest  woman  of  the  group  (see  p.  172). 
Owing  perhaps  to  great  depopulation  and  the  accumulation  of  refugees 

170  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

from  many  villages  in  the  one  village,  many  combinations  of  relatives  now 
form  residential  groups. 


Both  sexes  are  nude.  Men  tie  the  prepuce  over  the  glans  penis  with  a 
palm  fiber.  Both  men  and  women  pull  out  pubic,  axillary,  and  all  facial 
hair.  Even  eyebrows  are  considered  ugly.  Men  wear  cotton  string  liga- 
tures around  their  legs,  just  below  the  knee.  Men,  and  sometimes  women, 
wear  large  cotton  wrist  bands  crocheted  directly  on  to  their  arms.  Young 
boys  and  girls  sometimes  wear  similar  ornaments  on  their  ankles;  these 
ornaments  are  painted  with  a  thick  coat  of  red  urucii  dye  and  have  round 
cuffs,  often  2  to  3  inches  (5  to  7.5  cm.)  wide.  Necklaces  of  beads  given 
by  Neo-Brazilians  are  highly  valued  and  used  almost  to  excess.  Men 
paint  their  feet  and  the  calves  of  their  legs  red  with  urucii ;  both  men  and 
women  trace  a  multitude  of  patterns  on  their  body  with  black  genipa  dye. 

Men  have  their  lower  lip  pierced  and  wear  a  small  wooden  lip  plug. 
Two  years  or  so  after  women  have  begun  sexual  life,  patterns  in  the  form 
of  a  three-quarter  moon  are  made  on  their  faces  by  scarification  with  a  paca 
{Cuniculus  paca)  tooth  knife.  Charcoal  and  plant  juices  are  rubbed  into 
the  wounds  to  leave  dark  blue  designs. 


The  Tapirape  do  not  have  canoes.  All  cargoes  are  carried  by  the  men 
in  a  carrying  knapsack  made  from  buriti-palm  fibers  strapped  to  their 


Weaving. — Hammocks  are  made  by  women  from  native  cotton  spun  on 
wooden  spindles.  The  technique  used  is  the  simple  twine  weaving  used 
by  the  Tupinamba  and  other  Tupi  groups. 

Ceramics. — ^At  present,  the  art  of  ceramics  is  declining.  Pottery  is 
usually  for  cooking,  and  is  made  by  women.  Sometimes  it  bears  incised 
geometrical  decorations. 

Gourds. — Gourds  are  decorated  with  geometric  incisions. 

Basketry. — ^The  most  highly  developed  basketry  techniques  among  the 
Tapirape  are  woven  and  twilled.  Two  types  of  baskets  are  flexible  and 
nonflexible  ones;  both  are  of  buriti  fiber.  They  generally  have  a  quad- 
rangular base  and  a  narrow,  round  top,  and  are  used  mostly  to  store 
manioc  or  maize  flour.  Flat,  round  baskets  are  used  as  cotton  containers 
or  flour  sifters.  They  are  usually  ornamented  with  motifs  originating  in 
the  weave  itself;  frequently  the  finished  basket  is  smeared  with  black 
genipa  and  odd  strands  are  scraped  off,  giving  a  negative  decorative  effect. 

Plate  19. — Tapirape  ceremonies  and  house  construction.  Top,  left:  Youth  in 
preparation  for  puberty  ceremony.  The  large,  heavy  diadem  of  macaw  feathers 
will  be  supportei  by  the  lock  of  hair  wrapped  in  cotton  cord.  Top,  right: 
Shaman  wearing  dangerous  ceremonial  headdress  during  Thunder  ceremony. 
He  is  intoxicated  by  tobacco  and  in  a  trance  state.  Bottom,  left:  Construction 
of  men's  house.  Bottom,  right:  Dance  masks  representing  the  "Crying  Spirit," 
one  of  many  forest  spirits  who  are  said  to  come  to  stay  for  a  time  in  the  men's 
ceremonial  house.     (Courtesy  Charles  Wagley.) 


Weapons. — Bows  have  a  circular  cross  section  and  average  about  6  feet 
(2  m.)  in  length.  The  arrows  are  of  cane  about  5  feet  (1.6  m.)  long  with 
heads  of  bone,  hardwood,  and  the  spur  from  the  sting  ray  {Potamotyrgon 
histrix) .  They  have  brilliant  feathers,  sometimes  the  red  and  blue  feathers 
of  the  red  macaw.  Clubs  are  made  of  several  polished  hardwoods  and  are 
sometimes  decorated  near  the  handles  with  woven  strands  of  cane  fibers. 


Three  distinct  social  groupings  are  basic  in  Tapirape  social  organization : 
men's  ceremonial  moieties,  feast  societies,  and  the  kinship  groups. 

Ceremonial  moieties. — All  Tapirape  men  belong  to  one  of  the  patri- 
lineal ceremonial  moieties.  Each  of  these  moieties  is  further  divided 
into  three  age  grades.  There  are  consequently  two  groups  of  youths 
(those  up  to  15  years  of  age) ;  two  groups  of  men  of  warrior  age  (15  to 
40  years) ;  and  two  groups  of  older  men  (40  to  60  years).  Each  group 
bears  the  name  of  a  bird,  the  word  "wira"  (bird)  being  the  generic  name 
for  the  group.  These  age  groups  (Baldus,  1937,  p.  96,  calls  them  "work 
groups")  function  as  units  in  hunting  and  in  clearing  garden  sites  at  the 
cooperative  work  festival;  parallel  groups  also  dance  against  each  other 
in  various  ceremonials  and  reciprocally  feast  each  other.  Each  moiety 
owns  half  of  the  men's  house,  and  its  portion  is  subdivided  into  sections 
owned  by  the  three  age  grades.  The  warrior  age  group  of  each  moiety 
has  a  "walking  leader"  for  hunting  excursions  and  communal  work,  and  a 
"singing  leader"  for  ceremonials.  As  a  man  becomes  elderly,  he  entirely 
drops  out  of  the  "bird"  groups  and  is  no  longer  affiliated,  as  he  cannot 
take  part  in  their  economic  and  ceremonial  activities.  At  present,  the 
Tapirape  are  so  reduced  in  number  that,  lacking  older  men,  younger  men 
pass  prematurely  into  the  older  men's  age  grade  in  order  to  retain  the 
necessary  balance  for  ceremonials. 

Feast  groups. — Both  men  and  women  are  divided  into  eight  feasting 
groups  called  tataupawa  (literally,  "fire  all  to  eat")  Men  belong  to  their 
fathers'  feast  group  and  women  to  their  mothers'.  Feast  groups  are  not 
only  nonexogamic,  but  people  prefer  to  marry  within  their  own  group  so 
that  husband  and  wife  may  attend  feasts  together.  These  groups  carry 
the  names  of  the  mythological  heads  of  the  original  eight  households  of 
the  first  Tapirape  village.  They  unite  at  various  times  throughout  the 
year  for  ceremonial  meals.  The  feasts  take  place  at  traditional  spots  in 
the  village  plaza,  at  times  when  there  is  an  abundance  of  honey,  maize,  or 
meat  from  the  hunt.  Each  member  brings  his  contribution.  BaJdus  (1937, 
p.  88)  calls  these  "eating  groups,"  and  emphasizes  that  they  are  consumers' 
groups  providing  a  means  of  distributing  food  when  more  is  available  than 
a  family  can  eat.  Today  only  six  groups  meet  for  feasts,  two  being  extinct 
for  lack  of  members. 


172  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Kinship. — Kinship  is  more  important  in  furthering  solidarity  among 
the  Tapirape  than  either  the  moieties  or  the  feast  groups.  Tapirape  kin- 
ship is  bilateral,  its  chief  principle  being  that  all  cousins,  whether  cross- 
or  parallel-cousins,  no  matter  how  distant,  are  considered  brothers  and 
sisters.  Children  of  people  calling  each  other  siblings  are  also  called 
siblings.  Mother's  sisters  are  called  mother,  and  father's  brothers,  father. 
Mother's  brothers  and  father's  sisters  are  distinguished  by  special  terms. 
Similarly,  a  man's  brothers'  children  are  considered  his  sons  and  daughters, 
and  a  woman's  sisters'  children  are  her  children.  Children  of  a  man's 
sisters  or  a  woman's  brothers  are  given  special  terms. 

The  wide  inclusiveness  of  kinship  affiliation  makes  it  possible  for  an 
individual  to  call  the  majority  of  his  fellow  villagers — and  in  former  days 
many  people  in  other  villages — by  terms  of  close  relationship. 

An  older  man  of  some  prestige  gathers  around  him  by  adoption  as  many 
"daughters"  or  as  many  of  his  wife's  "daughters"  as  possible.  By  the 
marriage  of  these  "daughters,"  he  attracts  a  group  of  younger  men  within 
his  household  who  contribute  constantly  to  his  larder  through  the  hunt  and 
garden  activities.  At  present,  only  three  of  the  nine  houses  in  the  village 
were  formed  in  this  way,  but  reduced  numbers,  we  were  told,  forced 
various  combinations  of  relatives  to  share  a  household. 


Childbirth. — Although  aware  that  pregnancy  is  brought  about  by 
sexual  intercourse,  the  Tapirape  believe  that  conception  takes  place  when  a 
shaman,  serving  as  intermediary,  brings  a  "child  spirit"  to  the  woman. 
Thunder,  night,  monkeys,  wild  pigs,  and  various  fish  and  insects  are 
supposed  to  contain  child  spirits. 

When  the  woman  is  certain  that  she  is  pregnant,  she  tells  her  husband. 
They  both  paint  their  bodies  with  genipa  and  cover  their  hair  with  urucu. 
During  the  first  few  days  of  pregnancy,  no  restraints  are  imposed  upon  the 
child's  parents,  but  as  birth  approaches,  all  sexual  contact  must  cease. 
All  men  who  have  sexual  relations  with  a  woman  during  her  pregnancy 
are  considered  fathers  of  the  future  child,  together  with  the  real  father. 

At  childbirth  the  woman  is  assisted  by  her  mother  and  sister  and  by 
two  male  relatives.  The  husband  retires  to  his  hammock  and  is  forbidden 
to  partake  of  any  liquid  refreshment. 

Infanticide  is  practiced  because  it  is  considered  bad  to  have  more  than 
three  children,  or  two  children  of  the  same  sex.  The  fourth  child,  or 
third  of  the  same  sex,  of  one  mother  is  buried  in  a  hole  dug  inside  the 
residence  for  the  afterbirth. 

On  the  day  after  birth,  a  male  child  has  his  lower  lip  perforated.  Until 
the  child  is  weaned,  the  parents  must  refrain  from  sexual  relations  and 
must  not  eat  salt,  sugar,  honey,  or  the  meat  of  various  animals  and  forest 
fowls.    Both  boys  and  girls  also  are  restricted  in  their  meat  diet.    A  son 


and  sometimes  a  daughter  of  important  people  may  be  treated  as  a  favorite 
child,  being  given  special  attention  and  education  and  being  highly  decor- 
ated during  various  ceremonies  in  which  such  children  are  central  figures. 
Treatment  as  a  "favorite  child"  brings  prestige  throughout  one's  whole  life. 

Puberty. — When  a  boy  is  about  12  years  old,  he  ties  his  prepuce  over 
the  glans  penis.  His  hair  is  cropped  close  to  his  head,  and  his  entire  body 
is  painted  black  with  genipa.  He  substitutes  a  short  mother-of-pearl  lip 
plug  for  the  long  bone  one  worn  by  young  boys.  During  this  time,  the 
boy  must  sleep  in  the  men's  house.  His  arms  and  legs  are  scratched  from 
time  to  time  deep  enough  to  draw  blood,  so  that  he  will  grow  strong. 

When  he  is  about  14  years  old,  his  hair  is  allowed  to  grow  and  is  tied 
at  the  nape  of  his  neck.  His  hair  is  not  cut  for  a  year  or  two  in  preparation 
lor  his  puberty  ceremony,  which  is  considered  the  most  important  event 
in  a  man's  life.  On  the  appointed  day,  the  boy  is  richly  ornamented,  the 
main  ornament  being  a  large  diadem  principally  of  red  macaw  feathers 
set  in  a  heavy  block  of  wood  (pi.  19,  top,  left).  This  diadem  is  supported 
by  the  hair  and  weighs  well  over  10  pounds.  For  24  hours  the  boy  is 
forced  to  dance  continually  under  the  weight  of  excessive  decoration  to 
prove  his  endurance. 

During  a  girl's  first  three  menstrual  cycles,  a  geometric  pattern  is  traced 
with  genipa  on  her  body.  During  this  time,  she  must  refrain  from  sexual 
relations.  There  is  no  special  puberty  ceremony  for  girls.  Girls  are 
usually  already  married  at  puberty,  especially  at  present  with  the  lack  of 

Marriage. — Formerly  there  was  some  intervillage  antagonism,  and 
people  preferred  to  marry  within  their  own  village.  Despite  such  antag- 
onism and  the  fact  that  villages  were  2  to  3  days'  walk  apart,  considerable 
intervillage  visiting  occurred,  and  genealogies  show  that  intervillage  mar- 
riage was  not  rare.  Today,  with  refugees  from  all  villages  in  the  one 
village,  antagonisms  and  local  village  patriotism  exist  only  in  the  memory 
of  older  people. 

Men  marry  immediately  after  the  initiation  rites,  and  the  women,  at 
least  in  modern  times,  at  any  time  after  the  age  of  7  or  8  years.  People  do 
not  marry  cousins  who  are  called  "brother"  and  "sister"  of  close  connec- 
tion, but  marriage  with  those  of  distant  relationship  is  not  infrequent. 
Monogamy  is  the  absolute  rule. 

Because  the  population  has  declined  and  men  outnumber  women,  marriage 
rules  have  been  somewhat  altered.  All  women  have  husbands,  and  there 
are  now  about  10  young  men  waiting  for  7-  or  8-year  old  girls.  There  are 
also  marriages  between  men  and  very  young  pre-adolescent  girls;  these 
are  brought  about  because  the  men  are  greatly  dependent  on  the  women's 
work.  In  such  cases,  the  husband  goes  to  live  in  his  wife's  house,  where 
his  mother-in-law  helps  the  girl  work  for  him. 

174  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  IB.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Until  the  first  child  is  born,  marriage  bonds  are  rather  weak,  but  hence- 
forth the  marriage  is  comparatively  stable.  There  are,  however,  frequent 
cases  of  adultery,  and  a  guilty  woman  who  is  found  out  is  thrashed  by  her 
husband.  When  a  marriage  is  dissolved,  the  man  leaves  the  house,  which 
is  considered  the  wife's  property,  although  built  by  him. 

Upon  a  man's  death,  his  widow  remains  in  the  house.  After  about  2 
months  of  free  sexual  relations,  she  chooses  a  new  husband. 

Death. — The  Tapirape  believe  that  death  is  brought  about  by  sorcery 
and  never  by  natural  causes.  Frequently,  when  the  relatives  of  the 
deceased  enjoyed  sufficient  prestige,  they  kill  the  shaman  whom  they 

As  soon  as  it  is  certain  that  the  sick  man  will  die,  mourning  begins  in 
the  form  of  a  wailing  dirge  by  both  men  and  women.  The  men  dance 
around  the  hammock  of  the  dying  or  dead  man,  while  the  women  remain 
seated  on  the  ground.  Burial  takes  place  on  the  day  after  death.  The 
corpse  is  stretched  out  on  the  hammock.  Its  feet  and  head  are  decorated 
with  urucu  dye,  and  its  face  is  painted  black  with  genipa.  The  grave  is 
dug  in  the  dead  man's  house  under  the  place  where  his  hammock  was 
usually  hung.  The  body  is  buried  in  the  hammock,  which  is  set  up  in  the 
grave  between  two  poles.  All  contact  with  the  earth  is  avoided.  Personal 
possessions  of  the  deceased  are  buried  with  him,  except  that  all  feather 
ornaments  and  bows  and  arrows  are  burned. 

Five  days  after  the  funeral,  the  relatives  walk  in  file  to  the  ceremonial 
hut,  where  they  leave  the  spirit  of  the  dead  man.  The  wailing  goes  on  for 
many  days,  sometimes  months,  and  always  takes  place  at  sunset.  Close- 
cropped  hair  is  a  token  of  mourning  for  both  sexes. 


Art. — Obvious  esthetic  pleasure  is  derived  from  skillfully  done  basket- 
work;  a  good  workman  will  destroy  a  basket  which  is  not  turning  out 
well,  even  though  it  would  serve  as  a  receptacle.  Great  use  is  made  of 
highly  colored  feathers;  feathers  are  both  tied  and  stuck  with  rosin  and 
wax  on  to  the  object  to  be  decorated.  Elaborate  geometric  designs  are 
painted  on  children's  bodies  with  genipa.  The  incise  work  on  gourds  is 
also  especially  striking. 

Musical  instruments. — Gourd  rattles  are  frequently  used  to  keep  time 
to  singing.  No  sacred  powers  are  attributed  to  rattles.  During  the 
shamanistic  ceremony  (p,  177),  a  bamboo  trunk  is  pounded  against  the 
ground  in  time  to  the  music. 

Music. — By  far  the  most  important  Tapirape  pastime  is  singing,  A  man 
with  a  good  voice  and  a  large  repertoire  of  songs  is  much  admired  by  the 
community.  All  ceremonies  are,  basically,  singing  festivals.  Each  cere- 
mony during  the  year  has  a  large  set  of  specific  songs :  those  to  be  sung 
by  the  shaman  during  the  shamanistic  "battle  with  Thunder"  (p,  177) ; 


those  for  group  singing  during  the  harvest  ceremonies  and  the  ceremony 
of  kawi  (p.  176)  ;  those  for  the  masked  dancers  during  the  dry  season; 
and  a  very  large  number  of  songs  specifically  for  the  "Big  Sing" 
(monikaho)  during  the  latter  part  of  the  rainy  season.  During  this 
period  (approximately  March  through  April),  singing  takes  place 
throughout  each  night  from  sundown  to  sunrise.  On  these  occasions, 
the  singing  leader  and  the  men  of  one  of  the  moieties  introduce  the  verse 
of  eacli  song  and  the  refrain  is  then  taken  up  by  the  men  of  the  other 
moiety  and  the  women  of  the  tribe.  Women  sing  in  a  higher  key  than  the 
men  and,  generally,  a  phrase  behind  the  men.  The  songs  of  the  masked 
dancers,  each  representing  a  supernatural  being,  differ  stylistically  from 
those  used  on  other  occasions  in  being  sung  in  a  falsetto  tone,  in  a  manner 
similar  to  that  of  the  neighboring  Carajd.  Many  such  songs  have  been 
admittedly  learned  from  the  Carajd. 

Dancing. — Both  men  and  women  dance  as  they  sing.  In  general,  the 
Tapirape  dance  bending  slightly  forward,  stamping  out  the  time  of  the 
music  with  one  foot.  Dancing  differs  greatly,  however,  according  to  the 
occasion.  During  the  harvest  ceremonies,  men  dance  in  a  line,  side  by 
side,  each  man's  wife  dancing  directly  behind  him.  During  the  group 
singing  of  the  "Big  Sing,"  the  men  dance  in  moiety  groups  facing  each 
other,  and  women  dance  behind  the  moiety  group  of  their  husbands.  On 
one  occasion  during  this  time,  men  dance  with  women,  side  by  side,  with 
a  curious  skipping  step. 

Games. — Men's  moieties  run  foot  races  against  each  other  after  the 
communal  work  festival  (p.  168)  ;  they  race  in  a  straight  line  across  the 
village  plaza.  Wrestling  takes  place  at  one  wet-season  ceremony,  and, 
now  and  again,  throughout  the  year  as  sport.  The  Tapirape  explain, 
however,  that  the  Carajd  are  better  wrestlers  and  that  it  is  more  properly 
a  Carajd  sport.  In  wrestling,  opponents  stand  face  to  face,  grasping  each 
other  about  the  neck,  and  attempt  to  force  or  to  trip  the  other  to  the 
ground.  During  one  festival,  men,  one  from  each  moiety  at  a  time, 
compete  by  throwing  blunt-headed  spears  at  each  other.  Gambling  games 
are  unknown. 

Stimulants. — Native  tobacco,  though  used  for  leisure-time  smoking,  is 
principally  a  stimulant  and  medicine.  A  Tapirape  will  not  travel  without 
a  supply  of  tobacco  to  blow  smoke  over  his  tired  body  at  the  end  of  the 
day,  in  order  to  take  out  soreness  and  tiredness.  Tobacco  is  necessary 
to  shamans  in  all  their  activities.  They  blow  tobacco  smoke  over  the 
patient  in  curing  (p.  177),  and,  to  induce  dreams  and  a  trance,  they 
swallow  large  gulps  of  smoke  until  they  become  intoxicated  and  nauseated. 
When  people  have  seen  ghosts,  shamans  fumigate  them  with  tobacco 
smoke,  in  order  to  drive  away  the  ghost's  influence.  Shamans  fumigate 
new  maize,  the  first  honey  of  the  season  and,  sometimes,  fresh  meat  to 
drive  out  possible  supernatural  danger.     This  native  tobacco  is  smoked 

176  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

by  laymen  in  short  tubular  wooden  or  clay  pipes  and  by  shamans,  in 
tubular  clay  pipes,  sometimes  12  inches  (30  cm.)  long. 

The  Tapir  ape  do  not  routinely  plant  tobacco  as  other  crops.  Occa- 
sionally, it  is  transplanted  from  scattered  patches  around  the  gardens  and 
village  to  near  the  houses  or  gardens,  but  usually  the  patches  merely  seed 
themselves.  A  person  who  discovers  a  new  patch,  hastily  surrounds  it 
with  a  low  fence  to  show  his  ownership  of  it. 

No  alcoholic  beverages  are  known  to  the  Tapirape.  Beverages  made 
from  manioc  and  maize  are  prepared  as  a  food  and  are  not  allowed  to 


Tapirape  religion  is  based  on  the  belief  in  two  kinds  of  supernatural 
beings — disembodied  souls  of  the  dead,  and  malignant  forest  spirits  of 
many  kinds — both  designated  by  one  generic  term,  ancunga  (spirit  or 

The  ancunga  iiinwera,  human  spirits  or  ghosts  (aria  or  anhanga  among 
the  Tupinamha),  live  in  abandoned  villages  and  frequently  come  near  to 
the  villages  of  the  living  "because  they  are  cold"  and  try  to  warm  them- 
selves close  to  the  houses.  The  Tapirape  are  afraid  of  meeting  them  and 
try  not  to  go  out  at  night,  when  the  ghosts  most  frequently  appear. 

Souls  of  the  dead  continue  to  live  for  an  undetermined  period  of  time, 
then  die  and  are  transformed  into  animals.  Anyone  who  hears  the  croak 
of  a  kururii  frog  {Pipa  pipa)  knows  that  it  is  the  soul  of  a  leader.  A 
pigeon  is  the  soul  of  a  common  man ;  a  paca,  that  of  a  woman.  The  souls 
of  the  shamans  have  a  different  fate ;  they  go  to  join  Thunder. 

In  addition  to  the  souls  of  the  dead,  there  is  a  large  number  of  malig- 
nant beings,  also  called  ancunga,  who  dwell  in  the  forest.  They  are  very 
dangerous  and  kill  as  many  Tapirape  as  they  find.  Ware,  a  legendary 
hero  and  a  great  shaman,  had  the  distinction  of  killing  many  ancunga, 
among  whom  were  the  awaku  anka,  by  setting  their  long  coarse  hair  on 
fire.  The  mumpianka  were  beings  who  killed  men  in  order  to  drink  their 
blood.  Some  of  these  forest  spirits  have  become  domesticated  by  the 
Tapirape,  thanks  to  the  powers  of  their  shamans.  Several  times  the 
Tapirape  men  dance  with  masks  representing  the  visiting  spirits  (pi.  19, 
bottom,  right). 

Rites. — The  real  ceremonial  season  is  the  rainy  season,  when  the  people 
are  thrown  together  because  they  can  neither  farm  nor  hunt.  Mask 
dances  celebrate  the  visits  of  the  various  spirits  (ancunga)  to  the  men's 
house  during  the  dry  season.  At  the  end  of  the  rainy  season  the  harvest 
ceremonial  (kao)  and  the  ceremony  of  kawi  (a  souplike  beverage  made 
of  sweet  manioc  or  of  maize)  are  held. 

In  the  first  few  months  of  the  rainy  season,  when  the  maize  crop  is 
threatened  by  electrical  storms  and  by  the  first  heavy  rains,  the  shamans 


are  called  upon  to  fight  Thunder.  This,  the  important  Tapirape  ceremony, 
lasts  for  4  days,  and  is  the  high  point  of  shamanistic  activity. 

Kanawana,  the  Thunder,  lives  on  distant  Maratawa  surrounded  by 
the  souls  of  dead  shamans  and  by  the  topii  (probably  equivalent  to  the 
Tupinamha  word,  "tupan"),  small  anthropomorphic  beings  whose  bodies 
are  covered  with  white  hair. 

The  topii  travel  through  space  in  their  canoes  (half  gourds),  the  sound 
of  which  produces  the  noise  of  the  storm.  The  arrows  which  the  topi 
shoot  cause  lightning.  During  the  ceremony,  the  shamans,  completely 
intoxicated  by  the  tobacco  and  stimulated  by  the  unceasing  dancing  and 
singing,  fall  into  a  trance  (pi.  19,  top,  right)  during  which  they  travel 
to  Thunder's  house  in  order  to  fight  him.  Thunder  sets  the  topii  against 
the  shamans,  who,  wounded  by  the  arrows  of  "Thunder's  creatures," 
fall  into  unconsciousness. 


The  Tapirape  can  visualize  the  supernatural  world  through  the  reports 
of  the  dreams  of  their  shamans,  whose  power  grows  in  proportion  to 
their  ability  to  dream.  A  dream  is  a  voyage,  during  which  the  soul  frees 
itself  of  the  body  and  travels  through  space.  In  these  dreams  the  shamans 
travel  to  regions  which  are  entirely  unknown  to  the  living,  and  in  general 
are  inhabited  by  spirits.  With  their  powers,  the  shamans  succeed  in 
laming  some  of  the  spirits,  who  then  become  their  familiar  spirits.  The 
power  and  prestige  of  the  shaman  (pance)  depend  on  the  number  of 
his  familiar  spirits. 

The  Tapirape  speak  of  battles  between  shamans  wherein  each  calls  out 
his  familiar  spirits  against  the  other  while  dreaming.  More  often,  a 
shaman  sets  his  familiar  spirits  upon  laymen  and  kills  them.  A  shaman 
may  also  kill  his  victim  during  a  dream  by  throwing  a  mahgnant  object, 
usually  a  piece  of  bone  or  a  worm,  into  his  body. 

The  victims  of  sorcery  appeal  to  friendly  shamans,  who  attempt  to 
cure  them  by  extracting  the  malignant  object  by  suction,  massage,  and 
blowing  tobacco.  When  many  deaths  occur  simultaneously  and  the 
Tapirape  suspect  a  certain  shaman  of  having  caused  them,  they  do  not 
hesitate  to  kill  him.  One  man  recalled  that  during  his  lifetime  10  shamans 
suspected  of  sorcery  had  been  killed.  He  himself  had  killed  a  shaman 
whom  he  suspected  of  having  killed  his  brother.  In  spite  of  the  constant 
suspicion  surrounding  them,  the  shamans  do  not  employ  mechanical  tech- 
niques or  sympathetic  magic  in  sorcery. 

The  shamans  make  great  use  of  tobacco,  which  is  essential  for  healing 
and  dreaming.  They  smoke  it  in  large  tubular  clay  pipes.  Cures  usually 
take  place  at  dusk.  The  shaman  squats  by  the  patient's  hammock  and 
smokes  for  a  long  time,  becoming  intoxicated  and  blowing  the  smoke 
from  the  pipe  over  the  patient's  body.     He  then  massages  the  patient, 

178  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

rubbing  toward  the  extremities  of  his  body.  If  he  fails  to  extract  the 
malignant  object  in  this  fashion,  he  sucks  it  out,  swallows  it,  then  vomits 
it  up. 

At  one  time,  during  an  epidemic  of  fever,  a  shaman  used  a  different 
method.  He  prepared  a  mixture  of  honey  and  water,  and,  after  much 
smoking,  spew^ed  it  out  over  the  patients  and  on  the  houses  where  there 
were  sick  people. 

Besides  healing,  the  shamans  must  protect  the  people  against  dangerous 
spirits  (ancunga)  ;  they  call  forth  "children's  spirits"  without  which  there 
can  be  no  conception ;  they  prevent  wild  animals  from  harming  the  Tapi- 
rape  during  great  hunting  or  fishing  expeditions ;  and  they  increase  the 
number  of  peccaries  in  the  woods.  It  is  also  believed  that  they  divine 
the  future  in  their  dreams. 

The  prestige  of  shamans  is  such  among  the  Tapirape  that  almost  all 
leaders  of  communities  as  well  as  of  ceremonial  moiety  groups  and  house- 
hold heads  are  shamans.  As  shamans  receive  payment  for  successful 
cures,  they  accumulate  many  possessions  which  they  redistribute  at  a 
yearly  ceremonial.  Liberality  is  essential  to  prestige  in  this  society  where 
avarice  is  particularly  despised. 


Tapirape  myths  fall  into  two  categories:  legends  telling  of  the  deeds 
of  ancestral  heroes,  and  tales  of  animals.  In  the  latter,  the  tortoise 
(Testudo  tabulata)  is  noted  for  his  shrewdness  in  his  dealings  with  the 
other  animals  of  the  jungle.  These  stories  follow  the  general  Tupi 

Among  the  various  Tapirape  heroes  are  Apuwenonu  and  Petura.  The 
former  descended  from  heaven  and  lived  with  the  Tapirape.  He  taught 
them  to  plant  and  harvest  cotton,  manioc,  and  maize.  When  he  was  old, 
Apuwenonu  returned  to  heaven  and  changed  himself  into  a  star, 

Petura  stole  fire  from  the  buzzards  and  brought  light  to  the  Tapirape, 
who  until  then  had  not  seen  day.  It  is  also  told  of  Petura  that  he  stole 
hatchets  and  knives  from  the  emu  and  gave  them  to  the  Tapirape. 

Txawanamii  is  famous  for  a  series  of  songs  which  tell  of  his  adventures 
among  the  mythical  ampiiawa,  enemies  of  the  Tapirape,  who  made  him 
die  a  lingering  death.  Wancina,  a  great  shaman,  had  his  whole  house, 
including  his  family  and  belongings,  transported  to  heaven  by  Kanawana, 
the  Thunder.  Ware  was  another  shaman  who  killed  many  dangerous 
forest  spirits. 


Baldus,  1935,  1937;  Bigorre,  1916,  1917;  Metraux,  1927;  Wagley,  1940  a,  1940  b, 
1943  b. 

By  William  Lipkind 


The  Caraja  are  a  river  people  who  since  pre-Columbian  times  have  held 
as  the  central  portion  of  their  territory  the  inland  Island  of  Bananal,  which 
is  formed  by  the  great  fork  of  the  Araguaya  River  (lat.  8°-17°  S.,  long. 
48°-52°  W.,  map  1,  No.  1;  see  Volume  1,  map  7).  They  must  be  re- 
garded as  an  independent  linguistic  family  for  the  present ;  their  language 
displays  no  convincing  similarities  to  any  other  recorded  South  American 

The  term  "Caraja"  is  used  to  designate  the  entire  people  as  well  as 
the  largest  of  the  three  tribal  divisions ;  the  other  two  are  the  Shambiod 
and  the  Javahe.  The  Caraja  proper  have  20  villages  on  the  western  or 
main  branch  of  the  Araguaya  River,  widely  spread  from  Leopoldina  south 
of  Bananal  clear  down  to  the  end  of  the  Island.  The  Shambiod,  now 
nearly  extinct,  have  only  two  villages  left,  a  little  way  below  Conceicao. 
The  eight  villages  of  the  Javahe  lie  on  the  eastern  or  minor  branch  of 
the  Araguaya  River  and  on  the  small  streams  within  Bananal.  The  gen- 
eral location  and  the  relative  sizes  of  the  three  groups  have  remained 
the  same  since  the  earliest  times. 

The  native  names  give  some  notion  of  intergroup  attitudes.  All  three 
groups  regard  themselves  as  a  single  people  and  use  a  name  meaning 
"we"  to  distinguish  themselves  from  other  tribes.  The  Caraja  proper  are 
called  the  "great  people"  by  the  other  two  groups.  The  Shambiod  are 
the  "companion  people."  The  Javahe  are  called  by  a  name  which  is  used 
generally  to  mean  "Indian"  and  bears  the  pejorative  connotation  "back- 
woodsman" or  "hick."  There  is  a  possible  analysis  which  makes  it  the 
"old  people"  but,  even  if  this  etymology  is  correct,  the  word  no  longer  has 
that  meaning. 

Dialectical  differences  are  slight  and  other  differences  not  very  great, 
with  the  Shambiod  occupying  a  middle  position  culturally  between  the 
other  two  groups.  This  account  is  based  on  field  work  with  the  Carajd 
proper  and  refers  to  the  other  groups  only  where  they  exhibit  important 

^  The  present  description  of  the  Caraja  is  based  on  the  author's  field  work  during  1937,  done 
under  the  auspices  of  the  Department  of  Anthropology,  Columbia  University. 


180  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


Large  circular  hollows  in  the  ground  are  found  at  various  points  in 
Carajd  territory,  always  in  the  close  vicinity  of  a  stream.  By  tradition 
these  are  ancient  cemeteries ;  of  old,  they  say,  people  did  not  mourn  at  a 
funeral  but  held  a  feast  in  the  hollow.  One  of  these  hollows  located  on 
the  height  above  the  river  bank  at  Fontoura  is  18  m.  (about  58  ft.) 
long,  15  m.  (about  50  ft.)  wide,  and  1^  m.  (5  ft.)  deep  at  its  center.  The 
mound  forming  the  northern  side  was  excavated,  disclosing  two  lines  of 
burials  with  associated  pottery,  bone  labrets,  and  beads. 

The  pottery  is  very  similar  to  modern  Carajd  pottery  and  the  labrets 
are  exactly  like  those  now  in  the  possession  of  the  Carajd.  The  cemetery 
cannot,  however,  definitely  be  identified  as  Carajd.  The  present-day 
Carajd  cemetery  is  different  in  location  and  ground  plan.  There  is  now 
secondary  urn  burial,  and  in  the  first  burial  the  bodies  are  laid  at  right 
angles  to  the  river  rather  than  parallel  as  were  those  disclosed  by  the 
excavation.  Still,  the  remains  show  even  less  resemblance  to  the  Ge  and 
Tupi  peoples  in  the  neighborhood.  The  question  must  be  left  open  for 
further  archeological  study. 


Since  the  earliest  times,  the  Carajd  have  been  at  war  with  their  Ge  and 
Tupi  neighbors.  The  sole  exception  is  the  Tapirape,  with  whom  at  one 
time  the  Javahe  maintained  close  and  friendly  relations.  The  Shambiod 
were  the  first  to  come  in  contact  with  the  Neo-Brazilians  early  in  the  17th 
century.  Contact  with  the  Carajd  proper  must  have  begun  shortly  after  the 
founding  of  Santa  Anna  by  Bartholomeu  Bueno  in  1682.  The  Carajd  are 
on  good  terms  with  the  Neo-Brazilians,  trading  skins  and  fish  for  clothing, 
beads,  knives,  axes,  guns,  sugar,  and  salt. 

Population. — According  to  the  census  made  by  the  author  in  1939,  the 
Carajd  number  1,510,  divided  as  follows:  Carajd  proper,  795;  Javahe, 
650 ;  Shambiod,  65.  These  figures  should  be  contrasted  with  Castelnau's 
(1850-59)  count  in  1845  of  2,000  Shambiod  in  four  villages,  and  his  esti- 
mate of  a  total  of  100,000  Carajd,  and  with  Krause's  (1911)  estimate  of 
10,000  Carajd  in  1908. 



Farming. — Clearings  are  made  in  the  thick  forest  along  the  water- 
courses. Gardens  must  be  so  located  as  to  be  accessible  by  canoe  in  the 
dry  season  and  yet  not  flooded  in  the  rainy  season.  The  scarcity  of  such 
land  results  in  some  of  the  plots  being  several  miles  distant  from  the  village. 
Proximity  to  fishing  grounds  is  generally  held  to  be  more  important.  The 
work  of  clearing  is  begun  in  May  at  the  beginning  of  the  dry  season.  Maize 

Vol.  3]  THE  CARAJA— LIPKIND  181 

is  planted  in  September,  when  the  first  rains  come,  and  manioc  shortly 
after.  There  is  little  cultivation  beyond  weeding.  The  basic  crop  is 
manioc,  both  the  sweet  and  bitter  varieties  being  cultivated,  with  maize 
next  in  importance.  Four  varieties  each  of  sweet  and  bitter  manioc  and 
10  varieties  of  maize  are  cultivated.  Other  crops  are:  Five  varieties  of 
potatoes,  two  varieties  of  cara,  four  varieties  of  watermelon,  three  varieties 
of  squash,  four  varieties  of  beans,  and  ten  varieties  of  bananas,  as  well 
as  peanuts,  urucu,  tobacco,  cotton,  calabashes,  sugarcane,  yams,  peppers, 
pineapples,  and  papayas.  Men  do  all  the  work  with  a  little  assistance  in 
harvesting  and  weeding  from  older  women.  The  Javahe  are  more  in- 
dustrious farmers  than  the  other  Carajd,  cultivating  extensive  plantations. 

Collecting. — ^A  large  number  of  vegetable  products  are  gathered  for  use 
as  food,  medicine,  and  raw  material  for  manufacture,  but  only  a  few  are 
of  great  importance.  The  babassu  and  the  buriti  palms,  used  for  food  and 
textile  materials,  are  among  the  most  valuable.  The  taquara  reed  is 
sought  after  for  arrows.  Turtle  eggs  are  a  significant  item  of  food  during 
the  dry  season.    Honey  is  indispensable  for  feasting. 

Huntingf. — Although  the  Carajd  are  passionate  hunters,  very  few  of  the 
animals  available  in  the  region  are  eaten.  Only  the  peccary  is  really  sought 
and  constitutes  a  sizable  item  in  the  larder.  The  other  animals  that  are 
eaten — the  cutia,  coati,  woodsdeer,  monkey,  iguana,  and  a  few  birds,  such 
as  the  mutum,  jao,  and  jacu — are  killed  when  encountered  but  are  not 
eaten  by  everyone.  Peccaries  are  hunted  in  a  communal  drive,  the  most 
favorable  time  being  shortly  after  the  beginning  of  the  rainy  season  when 
large  droves  are  trapped  on  islands. 

The  chief  purpose  of  hunting  is  to  get  feathers,  and  the  most  desirable 
birds  are  the  various  parrots,  herons,  the  male  stork,  and  the  flamingo. 
The  nesting  of  valuable  birds  is  carefully  watched,  and  the  young  are 
stolen  and  tamed.  Feathers  stored  in  small  baskets  almost  constitute  a 
currency,  because  they  are  readily  negotiable  at  all  times  and  maintain 
a  stable  value. 

The  principal  weapons  are  the  bow  and  club.  The  bow,  made  of  a 
variety  of  woods  but  with  a  preference  for  juari  when  available,  is  round 
in  cross  section  and  about  6  feet  (2  m.)  long.  The  arrow  is  preferably 
of  taquara  reed  and  variously  tipped  with  wood,  animal  bone,  or  fish  bone. 
Clubs  are  beautifully  fashioned  of  heavy  hardwood,  decorated  with  delicate 
carving,  and  are  swung  and  thrown  with  equal  skill.  The  lance  is  now 
used  only  for  ceremonial  purposes. 

Fishing. — Fish  is  the  most  important  food  supply.  Trapping  and  drug- 
ging fish  with  timbo  is  a  communal  affair ;  individuals  fish  with  the  bow 
and  arrow.  There  is  occasional  night  fishing,  with  spearing  by  torchlight. 
The  pirarucu  is  killed  by  harpoon.  The  hook  and  line  is  little  used,  and 
apparently  was  borrowed  recently  from  the  Neo-Brazilians. 

Food  preparation. — Manioc  is  peeled,  grated,  squeezed  out  by  hand, 
and  cooked  into  a  soup.    When  the  soup  cools,  it  is  masticated  for  a  few 



[B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

minutes,  then  allowed  to  stand  for  a  while.  The  resulting  fermentation 
is  not  allowed  to  continue  long  enough  to  produce  an  intoxicating  drink. 
This  soup,  along  with  a  similar  soup  made  of  maize,  is  a  daily  staple. 
Manioc  and  ground  maize  are  also  made  into  cakes,  but  this  is  a  holiday 
variation  of  diet  rather  than  the  staff  of  life  as  in  other  regions.  The 
standard  methods  of  cooking  meat,  fish,  and  vegetables  are  boiling,  roast- 
ing on  a  spit,  roasting  on  a  grate,  and  roasting  in  the  embers.  Occasion- 
ally, some  vegetables  are  baked  in  hot  sand.  Maize  is  the  only  food  that 
is  stored.  On  platform  shelves  at  the  top  of  their  rainy-season  houses,  the 
Javahe  pile  a  supply  of  maize  dried  on  the  cob  sufficient  to  last  throughout 
the  dry  season. 


The  permanent  or  rainy-season  village  is  erected  on  a  high  bank  over- 
looking the  river.  One  or  two  rows  of  houses  face  the  river,  and  the  men's 
house,  about  50  feet  (15.2  m.)  back,  faces  down  river.  All  the  space 
between  the  men's  house  and  the  family  houses  is  kept  perfectly  clean  and 
constitutes  the  dancing  plaza  of  the  village.  The  surrounding  clearing 
extends  only  a  few  yards  in  all  directions.  All  neighboring  forest  which 
must  be  traversed  in  hunting  or  gathering  is  threaded  by  well-marked 
trails.  A  path  leads  down  from  the  center  of  the  village  to  the  main  port 
where  women,  married  men,  and  children  bathe,  and  married  men  land 
their  canoes.  Another  path  cuts  diagonally  down  from  tlie  men's  house 
to  the  bachelor's  port  where  the  young  men  bathe  and  visitors  to  the 
masked  dances  land  their  canoes. 

The  house  is  rectangular  in  ground  plan  with  supported  horizontal 
ridge  poles  (fig.  18).    Saplings  are  sunk  into  the  ground  at  the  sides  and 

Figure  18. — Carajd  house  frame.    (Redrawn  from  Ehrenreich,  1891  b,  fig.  3.) 

bent  over  to  the  ridge  pole  at  the  top,  where  they  are  firmly  tied  with  bast. 
Then  the  whole  structure  is  tightly  thatched  with  successive  overlapping 
layers  of  palm  frond  tied  to  the  ^aphngs  (pi.  20,. top).  The  entrance  is  a 
small  rectangular  opening  at  the  bottom,  through  which  one  crawls  after 

Vol.  3] 



pushing  aside  a  door  of  plaited  palm.  Every  married  woman  in  the  family 
cooks  at  her  own  fireplace,  which  consists  of  two  lumps  of  hardened  clay. 
Mats  used  for  sleeping  and  sitting  are  spread  over  the  entire  floor. 
Wooden  stools  (fig.  19)  may  also  be  found.     Bows,  arrows,  and  rattles 

Figure  19. — Carajd  wooden  stool.   (Redrawn  from  Ehrenreich,  1891  b,  fig.  13.) 

are  shoved  into  the  wall  thatch.  Baskets,  used  for  storing  such  things  as 
tobacco,  urucu,  and  feathers,  are  hung  by  a  string  from  the  ridge  poles. 
Large  baskets  containing  vegetables  lie  on  the  ground  next  to  the  thatch. 
The  dry-season  house  is  identical  in  form  but  smaller  and  of  flimsier 
construction.  Thatching  is  looser  and  the  walls  are  thatched  only  about 
halfway  to  the  ground,  the  north  and  west  sides  often  being  left  com- 
pletely open.  The  dry-season  village  is  generally  constructed  on  a  long 
beach  and,  as  the  site  grows  dirty,  is  moved  along  the  beach.  The  ground 
plan  of  the  dry-season  village  is  identical  with  the  rainy-season  village. 


The  most  prominent  facial  decoration  is  a  blue-black  circular  scarifica- 
tion about  an  inch  in  diameter  over  each  cheekbone.  The  ears  of  infants 
are  pierced  and  an  ornament  consisting  of  a  small  polished  capybara  tooth 
with  a  feather  attached  is  inserted.  A  common  ear  ornament  for  children 
is  a  mother-of-pearl  disk  with  a  cut  feather  fringe  set  on  a  blackened  thin 
rod.  In  a  perforation  of  their  lower  lips,  men  wear  wood  or  bone  labrets 
of  a  variety  of  shapes  (pi.  21 ;  fig.  21,  a),  each  assigned  to  a  different  age 
grade;  old  men  use  simple  wooden  plugs. 

Men  wear  their  hair  long,  winding  it  round  a  plaited  cotton  rope  red- 
dened with  urucu.    Women  wear  their  hair  about  shoulder  length. 

Armlets  crocheted  of  cotton  are  worn  at  the  wrists  and  just  above  the 
elbow ;  similar  ornaments  are  worn  just  below  the  knee  and  at  the  ankle. 
These  are  worn  particularly  by  children  and  are  supposed  to  aid  growth. 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Young  men  wear  large  armlets  almost  12  inches  (30  cm.)  long  crocheted 
of  cotton  with  hanging  fringes. 

Women  wear  a  bark-cloth  girdle,  which  is  wound  round  the  body  and 
under  the  crotch  and  looped  over,  hanging  down  in  front.  Feather  head- 
dresses of  a  number  of  different  designs  are  worn  by  men  on  festal  occa- 
sions. Men  tie  the  prepuce  with  a  firmly  wound  string  and  wear  a  string 

Elaborately  decorated  woven  belts  with  hanging  ema  feathers  are  worn 
for  wrestling  matches.  Bird  down  is  glued  on  the  shoulders,  arms,  and 
legs.  Body  painting  is  very  elaborate,  and  designs  covering  the  entire 
body  are  carefully  executed  with  genipa.  Urucii  is  spread  generally,  with 
accents  on  the  cheekbones,  the  nose,  and  the  upper  arm. 


The  Carajd  manufacture  elongated  dugouts,  neatly  adapted  to  landing 
and  freeing  their  craft  among  the  sandbanks. 


Bark  cloth. — Bark  cloth  is  made  of  Apeiba  bast,  soaked,  beaten  with 
flat  stones,  and  dried  until  it  becomes  very  soft  and  white. 

Figure  20. — Carajd  manufactures,   a-d,  Pottery;  e,  wooden  scoop.    (Redrawn  from 
Ehrenreich,  1891  b,  figs.  5  and  14.) 

Vol.  3] 



Basketry. — The  Carajd  excel  in  the  variety  and  solidity  of  their  plait- 
work,  which  includes  burden  baskets,  strainers,  shoulder  bags,  bottles, 
elliptical  feather  cases,  and  boat-shaped  containers  for  suspension.  Twill- 
ing and  twining  are  the  dominant  techniques  (pi.  22). 

Textiles. — The  Carajd  produce  some  taffetalike  fabrics,  but  in  1775 
Pinto  da  Fonseca  found  them  using  cotton  solely  for  fish  nets  and  bow- 
strings, so  that  he  himself  introduced  a  loom  and  taught  the  women  how 
to  work  it. 

Featherwork. — In  contrast  to  their  Ge  neighbors  of  Eastern  Brazil,  the 
Carajd  are  outstanding  for  featherwork.  They  make  wide-meshed  and 
close-meshed  caps  with  feathers  tied  to  the  intersection  of  the  interlaced 
splints  and  arranged  into  rosettes,  diadems  of  feathers  stuck  into  radially 
mounted  cane  tubes,  and  other  types  of  ornaments  (pi.  21). 

Axes. — Stone  axes  figure  in  old  Carajd  petroglyphs  and  have  been  found 
by  many  travelers  in  the  area.  They  were  used  for  adzing,  chopping,  and 
warfare,  and  as  chief's  badges.     Iron  axes  have  rapidly  replaced  them. 

FiGjRE  21. — Carajd  manufactures,  a,  Labrets;  b,  comb;  c,  pipe.    (Approximately  ^ 
actual  size.)    (Redrawn  from  Ehrenreich,  1891  b,  figs.  2,  9,  and  4.) 

186  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

Weapons. — The  Caraja  use  bows  and  arrows  (pis.  20,  bottom,  left; 
21,  left  and  center),  and  their  mythology  indicates  aboriginal  use  of  the 
spear  thrower  for  hunting  monkeys.  Recently,  they  have  used  a  spear 
thrower  of  the  upper  Xingu  River  type  for  sport. 

Pottery. — Pottery  vessels  include  several  forms  of  plain  ware  (fig.  20). 


The  kinship  structure  may  be  described  as  double  descent.  Both  lines 
are  important,  the  greater  emphasis  falling  on  the  mother's  line,  and  both 
lines  serve  different  functions.  Village  citizenship,  adoption,  and  the 
closest  affectional  ties  are  reckoned  in  the  mother's  line.  Moiety  member- 
ship and  the  offices  of  chief,  priest,  and  food-divider  are  patrilineally 

The  fundamental  unit  of  social  organization  is  the  village.  Every 
village  has  one  or  more  iolo,  children  of  chiefly  line,  designated  by  the 
chief  for  preferential  treatment  by  the  members  of  the  village.  The  chief 
names  the  iolo  who  is  to  succeed  him  or,  if  he  fails  to  do  so,  the  village 
makes  the  choice  at  his  death.  Girls  of  chiefly  line  are  similarly  chosen 
for  preferential  treatment ;  each  of  them  is  known  as  the  "hidden  woman." 
There  is  some  indication  that  women  functioned  as  chiefs  in  former 
times,  but  today  there  is  no  woman  chief.  The  chief  has  no  coercive 
powers  but  directs  the  village  by  recognizing  the  will  of  the  majority  in 
such  matters  as  the  selection  of  camp  and  garden  sites  and  the  announce- 
ment of  a  move  at  change  of  season.  His  principal  function  is  to  act 
as  peacemaker,  and  people  readily  submit  to  his  adjudication.  Because 
of  the  importance  of  religious  ceremonials,  the  priest  and  the  shaman 
frequently  exercise  more  authority  than  the  chief.  When  all  three  offices 
are  vested  in  a  single  individual,  his  authority  may  be  considerable,  but 
it  is  kept  in  check  by  the  right  of  a  discontented  person  to  move  at  any 
time  to  another  village. 

Within  the  village  the  important  unit  is  the  household.  Residence 
being  matrilocal,  a  household. consists  of  sisters,  their  husbands,  children, 
and  the  husbands  of  grown  daughters.  Marriage  is  restricted  to  one's 
own  generation,  the  preferred  mate  being  a  cousin  on  the  mother's  side. 
There  is  no  sanction  but  ridicule  against  wrong  marriages,  and  there 
are  many  cases  of  cross-generational  marriage.  Marriage  is  predomi- 
nantly monogamous,  but  a  few  instances  of  polygyny  and  one  of  poly- 
andry were  encountered.  The  avunculate  is  very  important  and  involves 
many  social  and  especially  ceremonial  duties.  Cooperation  in  the  house- 
hold is  close  and  in  the  village  fairly  close.  In  addition,  villages  are 
grouped  together  in  ceremonial  units,  generally  consisting  of  three  or 
four  neighboring  villages,  which  celebrate  important  feasts  jointly.  This 
ceremonial  unit  acts  as  an  insurance  group  when  a  village's  crop  fails 
or  its  fish  supplies  grow  scarce.    Beyond  this,  the  only  intervillage  ties 



Plate  20.— Caraja  house  and  physical  types.  Top:  House.  (Courtesy  Uni- 
versity Museum,  Philadelphia.)  Bottom,  left:  Warriors.  Bottom,  right-  Girls 
(After  Ehrenreich,   1891  b.) 


Plate  22. — Caraja  paddles,  gourds,  and  basketry.      (After  Ehrenreich,  1891  b. 

Vol.  3]  THE  CARAJA— LIPKIND  187 

are  the  product  of  intermarriage  and  formal  friendship.  Intervillage 
feuds  are  common  and  are  restrained  only  by  the  religious  community, 
sanctuary  being  granted  at  all  religious  ceremonials. 


All  dealings  with  visitors  are  conducted  according  to  elaborate  formal 
patterns.  The  language  is  rich  in  formal  appellations,  exclamations,  and 
honorific  phrases.  The  most  remarkable  feature  is  that  women  are  per- 
mitted to  behave  with  perfect  freedom,  whereas  men,  until  they  become 
fathers,  behave  with  a  shy  and  deferential  modesty  resembling  but  exceed- 
ing that  of  the  Victorian  maiden.  Normal  relations  between  members 
of  the  same  village  are  formal  and  dignified;  only  in  the  men's  house 
or  on  fishing  and  hunting  trips  is  the  behavior  of  men  relaxed  enough 
to  permit  horseplay  and  casual  joking. 


Childbirth  and  Childhood. — The  child  gets  two  sets  of  names,  one 
male  and  one  female,  as  soon  as  the  mother  is  known  to  be  pregnant.  These 
are  one's  own  names  given  by  grandparents  of  both  lines.  Taboos  in 
regard  to  diet  and  behavior  are  required  of  both  parents  before  and  after 
birth.  There  is  a  well-developed  couvade  based  on  the  notion  of  an 
intimate  connection  between  the  infant  and  its  father.  Babies  are  nursed 
until  they  turn  to  other  food  of  their  own  volition;  sometimes  ridicule 
is  used  as  a  sanction  against  particularly  recalcitrant  children.  No  inter- 
course is  allowed  during  the  period  of  lactation.  Babies  are  carried  on 
the  hip,  and  sleep  with  the  mother  until  weaning,  when  they  are  paired 
off  with  other  children  or  with  a  grandparent.  The  girl  child  wears 
no  clothing  until  weaned  and  then  receives  a  fringed  belt. 

Puberty  and  initiations. — At  menstruation,  a  girl's  cheeks  are  scari- 
fied and  she  assumes  the  girdle. 

A  boy  passes  through  a  first  initiation  at  about  the  age  of  8  or  9, 
when  his  lower  lip  is  pierced  and  a  small  bone  labret  inserted.  A  couple 
of  years  later,  he  passes  through  a  second  initiation,  when  his  hair  is 
cut  short  to  a  tonsure,  his  entire  body  is  stained  black  with  genipa,  and 
he  assumes  the  penis  cord.  When  his  hair  has  grown  out  to  shoulder 
length,  it  is  put  up  in  a  braid,  and  he  attains  full  status  as  a  young  man. 

The  next  change  of  status  for  both  boys  and  girls  occurs  at  marriage, 
when,  for  the  first  time,  they  take  on  the  responsibilities  of  regular  work. 
Teknonymy  is  a  matter  of  pride  and  follows  the  birth  of  the  first  child. 
The  name  is  retained  permanently  thereafter,  even  though  the  child  should 
die.  At  about  45  both  parents  discard  their  ornaments  and  accept  the 
status  of  old  age.  All  the  above  age  grades  are  named  and  involve  dif- 
ferential behavior  and  dietary  observances. 

653333 — 47—15 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Death. — At  death,  the  soul  becomes  a  wild  ghost  if  the  person  has  been 
violently  killed  and  a  regular  resident  of  the  village  of  the  dead  if  he 
has  suffered  a  quiet  death.  A  shaman's  soul  is  translated  to  the  skies. 
Mourning  puts  an  end  to  all  religious  ceremonies  and  is  celebrated  by 
self -laceration,  the  destruction  of  property,  and  daily  keening.  There 
is  separate  burial  in  formal  cemeteries  for  those  who  died  quietly  and 
those  who  died  violently.  The  corpse  is  wrapped  in  a  mat  with  his 
weapons  and  ornaments,  and  the  mat  is  hung  in  a  shallow  grave  covered 
by  poles  (fig.  22).  Food  and  drink  are  provided  for  a  short  period. 
After  the  next  change  of  season,  the  bones  are  exhumed  and  placed  in 
a  family  urn. 

Figure  22. — Carajd  burial.    (Redrawn  from  Ehrenreich,  1891  b,  fig.  16) 


The  Carajd  are  good  fighters  and  have  maintained  themselves  since 
prehistoric  times  in  a  territory  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  warlike  enemies. 
Their  usual  tactics  are  waiting  outside  an  enemy  village  at  night  and 
attacking  at  dawn.  In  defense,  they  run  to  the  nearest  water,  where  they 
are  unbeatable.  They  use  the  bow  and  arrow  and  club,  and  are  skilled 
wrestlers.  They  cut  ofif  a  foot  bone  of  a  dead  enemy  and  carry  it  back 
to  their  village;  this  places  them  in  control  of  the  ghost,  who  now  be- 
comes a  caretaker  of  the  village  and  is  impersonated  in  a  special  dry- 
season  ceremony.  At  one  such  ceremony  there  were  two  Tapirape  ghosts, 
three  Chavante,  one  Cayapo,  and  one  Neo-Brazilian.  Present-day  war- 
fare is  largely  with  the  Chavante,  the  Cayapo,  and  the  Canoeiro.  Now 
and  then  a  Neo-Brazilian  may  be  killed  by  stealth  to  avenge  a  personal 
grievance.  No  captives  are  taken  except  women  and  small  children, 
who  are  treated  as  full  members  of  the  group. 


Art. — Decorative  art  is  confined  to  woven  designs  on  baskets  and  mats, 
feather  ornaments,  elaborate  masks  with  superimposed  feather  designs, 

Vol.  3] 





Figure  23.—Carajd  wax  and  clay  dolls.    (Redrawn  from  Ehrenreich,  1891  b,  pi.  12.) 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

small  clay  dolls  (fig.  23),  delicately  carved  clubs,  body  paint  designs, 
and  a  little  painting  and  incising  of  pottery. 

0^1  "il 


Figure  24. — Carajd  masks.   (Redrawn  from  Ehrenreich,  1891  b,  figs.  18,  22.) 

Music  and  dances. — The  major  art  of  the  Carajd  is  music.  A  large 
number  of  elaborate  dances  with  complex  songs,  each  dance  having  a 
separate  song  style,  make  up  the  chief  body  of  the  music.  These  are 
all  religious.  In  addition,  there  are  some  secular  dances,  and  songs  are 
interspersed  in  the  tales.  Musical  instruments  are  very  few,  there  being 
only  a  rattle  accompanying  the  singers  and  a  small  flute  which  is  used 
as  a  toy. 

Vol.  3  J  THE  CARAJA— LIPKIND  191 

Games. — Of  numerous  games,  the  most  important  is  a  formal  wrestling 
match  which  is  an  indispensable  part  of  most  religious  ceremonies  and 
of  all  intervillage  visits. 

Narcotics  and  stimulants. — Like  the  other  tribes  in  this  region,  the 
Carajd  have  no  alcoholic  beverages.  They  smoke  tobacco  in  short  cylindri- 
cal pipes  (fig.  21,  c).  They  are  heavy  smokers,  some  of  the  children 
beginning  before  they  are  weaned. 


Cults. — Carajd  religion  consists  of  two  distinct  cults :  a  cult  of  the  dead 
and  a  mask  cult  (fig.  24).  The  cult  of  the  dead,  which  is  under  the 
direction  of  the  priest,  has  for  its  object  the  placation  of  ghosts  by  a 
periodical  ceremonial  which  comes  to  its  climax  in  several  large  calendrical 
feasts.  The  most  important  of  these  feasts  is  the  Big  House  Feast, 
which  is  celebrated  shortly  after  the  beginning  of  the  rainy  season.  All 
the  villages  which  comprise  a  ceremonial  unit  come  to  the  one  village 
where  the  feast  is  conducted.  There  is  a  great  mass  of  ceremonial 
addressed  to  various  classes  of  ghosts,  but  the  central  portion  of  the 
ceremony  is  the  impersonation  of  animal  ghosts.  Another  important 
feast,  already  mentioned,  occurs  at  the  height  of  the  dry  season  and  is 
directed  toward  the  control  of  enemy  ghosts.  Two  other  feasts  held 
in  the  dry  season  are  chiefly  for  the  entertainment  of  the  ancestors. 

The  mask  cult  is  concerned  with  the  worship  of  another  class  of 
supernaturals.  It  consists  of  an  elaborate  routine  of  feasts,  interrupted 
only  by  death.  In  these  feasts,  conducted  by  the  shaman,  the  super- 
naturals  are  impersonated  in  the  complex  dances  mentioned  above. 

The  two  cults  are  independent  of  each  other  and  are  both  strictly 
men's  cults.  Any  women  intruding  upon  the  secrets  of  the  cults  is  sub- 
jected to  gang  rape  and  remains  a  wanton  thereafter. 

Shamanism. — A  shaman  is  trained  by  apprenticeship  to  an  older 
shaman.  A  certain  amount  of  medical  lore  is  taught  but  the  essence  of 
the  training  is  learning  how  to  communicate  with  supernaturals  in  a  state 
of  trance. 

There  is  a  considerable  amount  of  sorcery.  The  main  technique  is 
bottling  a  supernatural  being  into  a  small  image  and  then  directing  it  into 
the  body  of  the  victim.  As  almost  all  deaths  are  interpreted  as  the  result 
of  sorcery,  feuding  is  continual. 

Castlenau,  1850-59;  Ehrenreich,  1891  b;  Krause,  1911, 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


Turiwara  ("those  of  the  Turi" — the  meaning  of  Turi  is  unknown)  is 
the  name  used  by  this  tribe  and  by  the  Temhe  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  see 
Volume  1,  map  7).    The  Amanaye  say  Turiwd  or  Turiwa. 

The  Turiwara  language  is  a  Tupian  dialect  of  the  He-  group,  and 
scarcely  differs  from  the  Urubu  dialect,  which  has  suggested  the  possi- 
bility that  the  two  tribes  are  local  divisions  of  one  people.  That  there 
isi  a  river  named  Tury  in  the  present  habitat  of  the  Urubu,  and  that  an 
Urubu  group  is  called  "Turkvara"  is  no  proof  of  this  possibility.  Be- 
cause the  Urubu  migrated  to  the  Tury  River,  from  Maranhao,  only  at  the 
beginning  of  the  20th  century,  whereas  the  Turiwara  had  left  Maranhao 
half  a  century  earlier,  the  Urubu  band  named  Turiwara  can  have  no 
connection  with  the  Turiwara  tribe. 

The  first  record  of  the  Turiwara  language  is  a  list  of  personal  names 
and  their  explanations  compiled  by  Meerwarth  (1904),  who,  however, 
confused  forms  of  the  Lingua  Geral  with  those  of  the  Turiwara  dialect. 
The  only  published  vocabulary  consists  of  103  words  (Nimuendaju, 
1914  c). 

In  the  18th  century,  a  tribe  named  Turiwara  was  noted  on  the  lower  Tocantins 
(Ribeiro  de  Sampalo,  1812,  p.  8;  Villa  Real,  1848,  p.  431).  (Lat.  4°S.,  long.  48°W.) 
It  spoke  Tupian,  judging  by  the  names  of  their  two  chiefs  in  1793 :  Tatahi  (tata-i, 
"little  fire")  and  Areuanaju  (arawana  =  a  fish,  Ichnosoma  sp.  +  yu,  suffix  for 
persons'  names). 

According  to  Temhe  tradition,  the  Turiwara  crossed  the  Gurupi  River  from  the 
present  State  of  Maranhao  shortly  after  the  Temhe,  probably  between  1840  and 
1850.  In  1862,  they  lived  in  three  villages  on  the  Capim  River  below  the  Acarajugaua 
Rapids :  Suagupepora  with  30  persons,  Cauaxy  with  15,  and  Cariucaua  with  60.  In 
1871,  the  Pracateua  Mission  (Assumpgao)  was  founded  on  the  Capim  River  with 
500  (600?)  Temhe  and  Turiwara.  The  following  year,  the  murder  of  the  missionary 
to  the  Amanaye  put  an  end  to  the  Christianization  (see  p.  200).  (Cunha,  1852,  p.  82; 
Brusque,  1862,  p.  12;  Cruz,  1874,  p.  47;  Souza  Franco,  1842.)  This  evidently 
prompted  the  Turiwara  to  move  from  the  Capim  River  mission  to  the  Acara 
Grande  River,  where,  in  1868,  a  large  part  of  the  tribe  had  already  been  established 
near  Miritipirange  (Gama  Malcher,  1878,  p.  102).  In  1885,  there  were  100  Turiivara 
here,  and  71  more  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Acara  Pequeno  (Baena,  1885,  p.  28).    In 


194  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

1899,  Meerwarth  (1904),  the  sole  source  of  ethnographic  information  about  the 
Turiwara,  visited  the  tribe  on  the  Acara  Grande  River.  They  lived  then  in  8  places 
below  the  Grande  Rapids.  In  1914,  they  numbered  about  100,  and  all  were  on  the 
Acara  Grande.  In  1942,  only  14  survived  (Arquivos  da  Inspectoria  do  Servigo  de 
Protecgao  aos  Indios). 

The  Turiwara  were,  according  to  Meerwarth,  visited  from  time  to  time  by  mer- 
chants (regatoes),  mostly  Portuguese,  traveling  in  canoes.  The  merchants  cheated 
the  Indians  outlandishly  (Meerwarth,  1904). 


Farming. — Manioc,  cotton,  urucu,  and  some  bananas  and  oranges  were 

Houses. — The  house  was  a  long,  rectangular  building  with  gabled 
roof  and  ridge  pole.    It  had  no  walls. 

Clothing. — The  Turiwara  wore  clothes  of  civilized  origin,  but  most  of 
the  time  they  went  about  with  the  upper  portion  of  their  bodies  unclothed. 

Transportation. — Houses  were  connected  by  overland  paths.  For 
river  travel,  the  Turiwara  had  dugout  canoes  of  the  "casco"  type,  which 
were  hollowed  and  the  side  walls  spread  more  widely  apart  by  heating 
inside  and  out  over  a  fire  and  stretching.  This  is  also  the  Neo-Brazilian 
type.  Some  canoes  had  shields  fore  and  aft.  The  paddle  had  a  crutch 

Manufactures. — Meerwarth  (1904)  lists  manufactured  objects :  Pans 
for  flour  making,  baskets  woven  of  timbo,  carrying  baskets  woven  of 
liana  with  straps  for  hanging  from  the  head  and  other  straps  for  hanging 
from  the  shoulders,  painted  and  unpainted  pottery,  beautiful  hammocks  of 
cotton  dyed  with  urucii,  gourds  (Lagenaria)  for  holding  water  and  others 
for  beverages,  braziers  which  at  night  they  put  under  their  hammocks  for 
warmth,  bows  and  arrows  for  fishing,  rifles  for  hunting,  bush  knives,  and 
iron  axes.  The  women  made  the  hammocks  and  pottery.  The  men 
hunted,  fished,  helped  with  flour  making,  and  cut  wood. 

Social  Usages. — The  Turiwara  were  monogamous,  though  a  chief  for- 
merly had  several  wives.  A  girl's  father  or,  if  she  had  no  father,  her 
older  relatives  gave  her  in  marriage  without  consulting  her  wishes.  The 
Turiwara  practiced  the  couvade. 

Meerwarth  (1904)  lists  a  series  of  men's  and  women's  names  which, 
without  exception,  were  nicknames,  not  true  surnames,  and  referred  to 
the  person's  favorite  food  or  to  some  amusing  physical  or  mental 

Accompanied  by  loud  monotonous  singing  and  the  music  of  taboca 
flutes  and  clarinets  (tore)  made  of  the  trunk  of  Cecropia,  groups  of 
Turiwara  danced  slowly,  always  singing  the  same  refrain. 

See  Amanaye  bibliography,  page  202. 



In  the  17th  century,  the  Arua  {Arouen,  Aroua)  occupied  the  north- 
eastern part  of  Mara j 6  Island  (for  Mara j 6  archeology,  see  this  volume, 
pp.  153-159),  the  islands  of  the  estuary  of  the  Amazon  including  Caviana, 
and  perhaps  part  of  the  mainland  on  the  left  bank  of  the  estuary.  Later, 
they  withdrew  in  part  to  Brazilian  Guiana  and  the  adjacent  region  of 
French  Guiana.  This  zone  consists  almost  entirely  of  lakes  and  flood- 

Vifiaza  (1892)  mentions  no  less  than  seven  works  in  and  on  the  Arua 
language,  written  in  the  18th  century.  Fr.  Joaquim  da  Conceigao  wrote 
two  religious  texts ;  Fr.  Joao  de  Jesus,  a  religious  text  and  a  grammar ; 
and  Fr.  Boaventura  de  Santo  Antonio,  a  grammar.  All  these  have  been 
lost.  In  1877  in  the  village  of  Afua  (Marajo),  Penna  (1881)  compiled 
a  vocabulary  given  by  the  last  Arua  of  the  place,  a  shaman  of  about  75. 
Penna  thought  the  language  was  Carihan,  but  it  is  clearly  Arawakan, 
though  quite  different  from  that  of  the  true  Arawak  of  the  Guiana  Coast 
and  of  the  Palicur.  In  1926  on  the  Uaga  River,  the  present  author  found 
no  one  who  spoke  the  Arua  language.  Two  old  Indians,  however,  gave  a 
list  of  30  vocables. 

O'Brian  del  Carpio  (ms.),  who  entered  the  estuary  of  the  Amazon  in 
1621,  was  the  first  to  mention  the  name  Arua.  On  Sipinipoco  Island  (i.e., 
Sapanapok  or  Caviana,  or  else  one  of  the  adjacent  islands?)  he  learned 
the  language  which  "they  themselves  called  Arrua."  Laet's  map  (1899) 
made  4  years  later  is  the  first  to  record  an  Arouen  Island  (i.e.,  Curua  or 
another  one  near  it?).  At  the  same  time,  Des  Forest  (1899)  mentions 
near  Cabo  do  Norte  several  Arouen  villages  of  "Indians  who  wear  their 
hair  long  like  women."  Later  writings  and  maps  distinguish  Joanes 
Island  (i.e.,  Marajo)  and  the  Aruans  Island  or  Islands. 

The  Arua  appeared  for  the  first  time  in  the  history  of  Marajo  in  1643 
when  a  ship  was  wrecked  on  the  Para  River.  Father  Luiz  Figueira  and 
other  passengers  reached  the  coast  of  Marajo,  where  they  were  killed  and 
devoured  by  the  Arua  (Moraes,  1860).  Berredo  (1905,  2:66),  how- 
ever, who  likes  to  emphasize  the  "barbarity  and  ferocity"  of  the  Indians, 
states  that  Figueira  and  others  were  drowned,  and  that  nine  others  reached 
Marajo  Island,  where  six  of  them  were  killed,  but  he  does  not  say  eaten, 
by  the  Arua.  It  seems  that  the  Arua  and  the  other  tribes  on  Marajo 
Island  were  always  hostile  to  the  Portuguese  of  Belem,  although  they 
maintained  friendly  relations  and  commerce  through  the  estuary  of  the 
Amazon  with  other  nations,  especially  the  Dutch.  Father  Antonio  Vieira 
(1735-46,  1 :135-136)  emphasizes  several  times  that  the  blame  for  this 
hostility  lay  with  the  Portuguese.  By  1654,  the  Arua  and  "Nheengayba" 
threatened  the  vicinity  of  the  city  of  Belem  itself  (Berredo  1905,  2:95), 

196  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

and  an  expedition  was  sent  against  them.  (See  also  Bettendorf,  1910, 
p.  112.) 

These  tribes  rejected  all  offers  of  peace  and  pardon,  and,  although 
Berredo  stated  that  the  war  was  ended  with  the  "fatal  annihilation  of  the 
barbarians,"  another  armed  expedition  was  in  preparation  4  years  later. 
Meanwhile,  in  1652,  Father  Antonio  Vieira  had  succeeded  in  having  the 
laws  sanctioning  Indian  slavery  abolished.  He  informed  the  Indians  of 
this  and  succeeded  in  making  peace  before  the  expedition  went  afield. 
Among  the  tribes  which  in  1659  solemnly  made  peace  on  the  Mapua  River 
and  on  Marajo  were  the  Arud  and  their  chief  Piye  (Peyhe),  whose  village 
was  in  Rebordello,  on  the  eastern  point  of  Caviana  Island  (Vieira,  1735- 
46,  1 :135,  151-169).  The  war  was  over  and  Christianization  began,  but 
the  Arua  and  other  Marajo  Indians  began  to  migrate  to  Guiana.  The  fol- 
lowing century  is  marked  by  this  migration  and  by  the  Portuguese  effort 
to  prevent  it. 

The  peace  had  but  a  limited  effect,  probably  because  the  Jesuits,  after 
a  popular  uprising  in  1661,  were  compelled  to  stop  enforcing  the  laws  of 
1652.  In  1698,  a  number  of  the  Arud  were  declared  "undesirable  on  the 
Northern  coast  because  they  were  too  friendly  to  the  enemy"  (the  Dutch) 
and  were  expatriated  to  Maranhao  (Bettendorf,  1910,  p.  663). 

In  1701  there  was  another  great  conflict  with  the  Arud  of  Marajo  Island, 
who  were  established  in  three  villages  near  the  mouth  of  the  Paraguary 
(Soure)  River  by  Fr.  Jose  de  Santa  Maria,  In  the  absence  of  the  mis- 
sionary, they  were  ill-treated  by  the  residents  of  Belem  and  by  the  gov- 
ernor himself,  Fernao  Carrilho,  and  left  their  villages.  Upon  his  return, 
the  missionary  and  Fr.  Martinho  da  Conceigao  went  up  the  Paraguary 
River  (Rio  de  Soure)  to  repair  the  damage,  but  the  Indians  killed  them. 
The  following  year,  a  punitive  expedition  of  60  soldiers  and  200  Indians 
captured  some  200  Arud.  The  murderers  of  the  two  priests  were  executed 
in  Belem.  (Southey,  1862,  5:90;  Berredo,  1905,  2:399;  Rocha  Pombo, 
1905,  6:338.)  The  same  year  the  Arud  of  Ganhoao  (north  coast  of 
Marajo)  were  transferred  to  the  village  of  the  Aroaquis  on  the  Urubu 
River,  in  the  present  State  of  Amazonas.  With  Arud  from  the  Cabo  do 
Norte,  another  village  was  founded  near  Belem  (Caia  or  Monsaras?), 
but  the  missionary  was  not  able  to  prevent  the  escape  of  the  Indians 
(Annaes  da  Bibliotheca  ...  I,  Nos.  79,  85). 

Twenty  years  later,  the  Arud  who  had  escaped  to  Guiana  and  obtained 
French  support,  took  the  offensive  against  the  Portuguese  under  a  chief 
named  Koymara  (Guayama,  Guama).  They  attacked  the  Portuguese 
settlements  and  for  one  year  occupied  the  village  of  Moribira,  45  kilo- 
meters north  of  Belem.  (Rio-Branco,  1899,  2:53,  90,  101;  Guajara, 
1896,  p.  166;  Coudreau,  H.,  1886-87,  1:220.)  These  hostilities  lasted 
at  least  until  1727. 


From  1738  to  1744,  Father  Lombard  gathered  the  Maraon  and  Arua, 
fugitives  from  the  Portuguese  missions,  in  the  Ouanari  mission,  French 
Guiana  (Coudreau,  H.,  1895,  p.  274).  In  1743,  Barrere  recorded  the 
presence  of  Arua  to  the  south  of  Mineur  River  (Amapa  Grande?),  stating 
that  they  had  outstanding  ability  as  seamen.  From  1784  to  1798,  the 
Portuguese  depopulated  the  entire  coast  between  the  Amazon  and  the 
Oyapock,  taking  the  fugitive  Indians  to  Para.  As  trade  invariably  attracted 
the  Indians  to  the  French,  it  was  essential  that  the  Portuguese  depopulate 
a  zone  between  Para  and  Cayena  (Coudreau,  H.,  1886-87,  1:224). 
Despite  great  dangers,  however,  a  large  part  of  the  prisoners  returned 
in  their  fragile  canoes  to  their  refuge  in  Guiana.  It  was  probably  at  this 
time  that  part  of  the  Arua  settled  on  the  Uaga  River.  The  persecutions 
stopped  in  the  19th  century. 

The  Indians  in  Marajo  disappeared  during  the  first  half  of  the  19th 
century.  In  1793,  Arua  were  transferred  from  Chaves  (north  coast  of 
Marajo)  to  the  lower  Tocantins,  where  the  village  of  Murii  was  founded 
for  them  between  the  present  Patos  and  Alcobaga  (Almeida  Pinto,  1906, 
p.  188).  Rebordello  counted  279  Indians  in  1816,  but  the  last  Arua  of 
Marajo  and  neighboring  islands  disappeared,  probably  in  consequence  of 
the  revolt  of  the  Cabanos,  1834—36.  A  nucleus  of  Arua  and  Galihi,  how- 
ever, settled  in  Uaga,  completely  under  French  influence.  With  them  were 
also  some  Maraon,  Palicur,  and  Itutan,  and  French  Creoles,  Chinese, 
Arabs,  and  Brazilian  Mestizos.  In  1854,  Father  Dabbadie  refers  to  80 
Aroua  on  the  Uaqa  River,  and  in  1891  H.  Coudreau  (1886)  mentions  100. 
In  1925,  when  the  present  author  spent  some  time  among  the  160  Indians 
of  the  Uaga  River,  the  Arua  component  was  much  more  reduced  than  the 
Galihi.  There  was  no  longer  any  vestige  of  the  other  Indian  components, 
and  the  only  language  used  was  French  Creole. 


When  the  Galihi  and  the  Arua  gathered  on  the  Uaga  River,  they  prob- 
ably brought  very  little  of  their  own  original  culture,  for  both  had  been 
influenced  for  nearly  a  century  by  the  missionaries  and  other  civilized 
people.  In  consequence,  they  were  greatly  influenced  by  the  Palicur,  a 
still  relatively  strong  and  intact  tribe  who  had  become  their  neighbors. 
The  little  Indian  culture  that  they  still  possess  is  practically  identical  to 
that  of  the  Palicur.  Otherwise,  their  culture  is  adopted  from  the  French 
Creoles  of  Guiana  and,  to  a  lesser  degree,  from  the  Brazilians.  The  Servigo 
de  Protecgao  aos  Indios  maintains  a  station  among  them. 

There  is  nothing  in  the  literature  on  the  original  culture  of  the  Arua. 
The  paleoethnological  (archeological)  material  in  the  urn  cemeteries  of 
the  region  do  not  lead  to  any  precise  conclusion.     On  Caviana  Island, 

198  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

stronghold  of  the  Arud  during  the  last  phase  of  their  ethnic  existence,  the 
author  investigated  five  urn  cemeteries  in  1925.  Three  of  these  contained 
glass  beads  and  other  European  objects.  In  historic  times,  only  the  Arud 
are  known  to  have  inhabited  the  island,  but  the  style  of  urn  is  very  dif- 
ferent in  the  three  sites  mentioned,  and  there  is  no  certainty  as  to  which 
one  belongs  to  the  Arud.  Only  one  thing  is  common  to  all:  secondary 
burial  in  urns. 


Almeida  Pinto,  1906;  Annaes  .  .  .;  Ayres  de  Cazal,  1817;  Baena,  1839,  1885; 
Barrere,  1743  ;  Berredo,  1905  ;  Bettendorf ,  1910 ;  Coudreau,  H.,  1886-87,  1893 ;  Forest, 
1899;  Guajara,  1896;  Laet,  1899;  Lettres  edifiantes  et  curieuses,  1838  (1780-83); 
Lombard,  1928;  Moraes,  1860;  Nimuendaju,  1926;  O'Brian  del  Carpio,  ms. ;  Penna, 
1881 ;  Rio  Branco,  1899 ;  Rocha  Pombo,  1905 ;  Southey,  1862 ;  Texeyra,  1640 ;  Vieira, 
1735^16 ;  Vinaza,  1892. 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju  and  Alfred  Metraux 


The  names  Amanajo,  Manajo,  and  Manaxo  were  used  in  Maranhao,  in 
Piauhy,  and  on  the  lower  Tocantins ;  Amanage  in  Para.  Mananye  is  the 
name  given  by  the  Turiwara;  Manasewa  by  the  Tembe.  The  self-denom- 
ination, Manaye  or  Amanaye,  has  uncertain  meaning,  but  may  be  Guarani, 
amandaye,  an  "association  of  people,"  or  amanaje,  "alcoviteiro"  (Platz- 
mann,  1896).  In  order  to  conceal  their  identity,  some  groups  assumed 
the  name  of  Ararandewd  {Ararandewdra,  Ararandeuara) ,  "those  of  the 
Ararandeua  [River],"  and  Turiwd  (Turiwara),  the  name  of  a  neighbor 

On  the  Amanaye  language  there  have  been  published  only  two  small 
vocabularies,  both  in  1914:  Lange's  and  Nimuendajti's.  It  is  the  most 
distinctive  of  the  Tupi  dialects  of  the  He-  group.  As  far  as  can  be  ascer- 
tained from  the  vocabularies,  there  is  no  difference  in  the  grammar. 

The  Amanaye  (map  1,  No.  1;  see  Volume  1,  map  7)  always  occupied 
the  upper  Pindare,  the  Gurupi,  and  the  Capim  Rivers,  the  middle  Moju 
River,  and  the  central  part  of  the  right  bank  of  the  lower  Tocantins  below 
the  mouth  of  the  Araguaya,  and  were  found  only  rarely  away  from  this 
region  (lat.  4°  S.,  long.  48°  W.). 

They  are  first  mentioned  in  1755  when  they  made  an  agreement  with  the  Jesuit 
P.  Daniel  Fay  (Tray?  Tay?),  of  Acama  (Mongao),  a  Guajajara  village  of  the 
Pindare  River.  They  had  evidently  had  previous  contact  with  civilized  people,  for 
they  avoided  all  Whites  except  the  Jesuits. 

According  to  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio  (1812,  p.  9),  in  1760,  a  large  band  of  Amanaye 
moved  peacefully  southeast  to  the  Alpercatas  River,  and  settled  near  the  village  of 
Santo  Antonio.  By  1815  there  were  only  20  of  this  group,  and  they  were  mixed  with 
Negro  blood.  The  last  mention  of  this  village  was  in  1820  (Francisco  de  N.S.  dos 
Prazeres,  1891,  p.  132).  A  part  of  this  band  evidently  continued  its  migration  in  1763 
across  the  Parnahyba  River  into  Piauhy  (Alencastre,  1857,  p.  6),  but  its  subsequent 
fate  is  not  known. 

In  1775,  the  " Amanajoz"  are  listed  among  the  tribes  of  the  lower  right  Tocantins 
(Ribeiro  de  Sampaio,  1812,  pp.  8,  9),  and,  in  1798,  they  were  seen  to  the  east  of  the 
Surubiju  River  (Mendes  de  Almeida,  n.d.,  p.  104).  In  1845,  the  "Amananiu"  were 
mentioned  as  inhabitants  of  part  of  the  Mojii  River  by  Saint- Adolphe.  In  1854, 
they  had  a  village  on  the  Pindare  above  the  Guajajara  village  of  Sapucaia  (Marques, 


200  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

1864),  but  by  1872  the  village  had  been  moved  to  the  Tucumandiua,  a  western 
tributary  of  the  Gurupi  River  (Dodt,  1873,  p.  132).  In  1862,  the  Amanaye  had  two 
villages  with  60  people  on  the  Ararandeua  River,  western  tributary  of  the  Capim 
River,  which  has  subsequently  been  their  center. 

In  1872,  Fr.  Candido  de  Heremence  began  to  convert  the  Amanaye,  Temhe  and 
Turiwara  of  the  Capim  River.  With  200  Amanaye,  he  founded  the  Anauera  Mission 
(Sao  Fidelis)  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Capim  River,  below  the  confluence  of  the 
Ararandeua  and  the  Surubiju  Rivers.  The  Turiwara  and  Tembe,  being  hostile  to 
the  Amanaye,  were  established  together  farther  downstream.  The  next  year,  the 
Amanaye  killed  Fr.  Candido  and  a  Belgian  engineer,  Blochhausen,  because  during  a 
trip  the  latter  dealt  severely  with  the  Amanaye  crew  and  injured  the  chief's  son. 
(Souza  Franco,  1842,  p.  22;  Cruz,  1874,  p.  47;  Moreira  Pinto,  1894;  Nimuendaju, 
unpublished  notes.)  Reprisals  against  the  Amanaye  for  these  murders  drove  them 
to  take  refuge  in  the  region  of  the  Ararandeua  River.  Today  some  of  them  still 
avoid  contact  with  the  civilized  people.  Others  appeared  later  under  the  name  of 
" Ararandewdra"  or  "Turiwara"  to  conceal  their  identity. 

In  1889,  the  surviving  Anambe  and  Amanajo,  almost  wiped  out  by  epidemics  on 
the  Arapary,  lived  by  the  last  rapids  of  the  Tocantins  River  (Ehrenreich,  1892, 
p.  149). 

In  1911,  Inspector  L.  B.  Horta  Barboza,  of  the  Servigo  de  Proteccao  aos  Indios, 
found  four  Amanaye  villages  with  more  than  300  inhabitants  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
Ararandeua  River.  In  1913,  another,  more  primitive  part  of  the  tribe,  calling  itself 
Ararandewdra,  was  visited  by  Algot  Lange  on  the  upper  Moju  River,  at  approxi- 
mately lat.  4°  S.  He  has  published  the  only  description  of  the  Amanaye  (Lange, 

During  several  decades  at  the  end  of  the  19th  century  and  the  beginning  of  the 
20th,  the  most  important  person  among  the  Amanaye  of  the  Ararandeua  River 
was  a  mulatto  woman  named  Damasia,  wife  of  a  member  of  the  tribe.  In  1926, 
Nimuendaju  saw  a  small  group  of  Amanaye,  who  called  themselves  Ararandewd{ra) , 
in  Mundurucii  at  lat.  3°55'  S.  They  had  a  plantation  on  the  Moju  River.  In  1942, 
only  17  persons,  mostly  Mestizos,  survived  in  the  group  headed  by  Damasia's  son 
(Arquivos  da  Inspectoria  do  Servigo  de  Protecgao  aos  Indios,  Para,  1942).  These 
people  stated  that  another  group  lived  away  from  all  contact  with  the  civilized 
people,  on  the  Igarape  do  Garrafao,  a  left  tributary  of  the  Ararandeua  River.  In 
1943,  Nimuendaju  found  a  small  group  of  Amanaye,  who  had  been  living  for  several 
decades,  in  contact  with  Neo-Brazilians,  on  the  upper  Cairary,  a  tributary  on  the 
left  bank  of  the  lower  Moju.    They  called  themselves  Turiwa(ra) . 


Subsistence. — ^The  Amanaye  cultivated  manioc,  cotton,  and  tobacco  in 
forest  clearings.  One  clearing  measured  1,000  by  1,300  yards.  These 
Indians  also  hunted,  especially  turtles,  which  were  abundant.  Turtles  not 
consumed  at  once  were  kept  in  small  corrals. 

Dogs  and  chickens  were  introduced  by  the  White  man. 

Manioc  was  prepared  in  a  special  hut;  the  tubers  were  crushed  in  a 
trough  made  of  the  miriti  palm  trunk,  pressed  through  a  coarse-meshed 
fiber  sifter,  then  kneaded  into  balls  which  were  allowed  to  ferment  on  a 
platform.  Subsequently,  the  paste  was  squeezed  in  the  cylindrical  tipiti, 
or  manioc  squeezer,  after  which  the  dry  pulp  was  crushed  and  spread  on 


a  hot  clay  pan  with  slightly  upturned  edges.  Brazil  nuts  might  be  added 
to  manioc  flour  to  improve  its  taste. 

Dwellings. — The  Amanaye  village  that  Lange  visited  had  26  houses  "of 
a  very  low  order,  some  not  having  a  proper  roof,  built  around  a  small  area 
of  bush  cleared  forest."    The  only  furniture  was  small  cotton  hammocks. 

Clothing. — Amanaye  men  wore  nothing  but  a  short  cotton  string  tied 
around  the  praeputium,  while  women  wore  only  a  narrow  loincloth. 

Men's  ornaments  included  little  wooden  sticks  in  the  lower  lip  and  tur- 
key feathers  stuck  in  colored  cotton  bands  around  the  head.  Women  wore 
"garter-like  cotton  bands  below  their  knees  and  on  their  ankles;  .  .  . 
some  of  the  youngest  maidens  insert  ornaments  made  of  the  ivory  nut  in 
their  ear  lobes"  (Lange,  1914). 

Boats. — Dugout  canoes,  35  feet  (10.6  m.)  long,  and  5  feet  (1.5  m.) 
wide,  were  made  of  trees  felled  in  the  forest  and  dragged  to  the  water  on 
rollers  by  means  of  creepers. 

Manufactures. — Manioc  squeezers  were  plaited  of  strong  miriti  palm 
and  tucum  fibers.  Cotton  spindles  had  a  rounded  wooden  disk.  The  loom 
was  "a  simple  square  frame  made  of  four  sticks  about  2  feet  [0.6  m.] 
long,  tied  together  with  fiber  or  ordinary  bush-cord  to  form  a  square" 
(Lange,  1914).  Cloth,  like  hammocks,  was  loosely  twined  with  a  double 
weft.    Loincloths  were  stained  red  with  urucii. 

The  only  pottery  mentioned  is  the  clay  manioc  pan. 

Weapons. — Bows  were  large — one  being  8  feet  (2.4  m.)  long  and  4 
inches  (10  cm.)  in  diameter — and  notched  at  each  end  for  a  curaua  fiber 
bowstring.  Arrows  were  tipped  either  with  a  bamboo  blade  or  with  a 
sharp  rod  with  a  few  barbs  on  each  side.  Occasionally,  a  small  nut  which 
produced  a  whistling  sound  was  fastened  near  the  tip.  Arrow  feathering 
was  either  of  the  eastern  Brazilian  arched  or  of  the  Xingii  sewn  type. 

Stone  axes,  used  until  recently,  had  carefully  ground,  quadrangular 
heads  of  diorite  with  a  notch  running  along  the  face  near  the  butt.  The 
head  was  inserted  in  the  split  end  of  a  shaft  of  pao  d'arco  and  lashed 
with  heavy  fibers,  then  covered  with  the  black  gum  from  the  jutahy  tree. 

Fire  making. — Fire  was  made  with  a  fire  drill.  Two  men  working 
together  could  make  a  fire  in  2  minutes. 

Social  and  political  organization. — Lange  observed  an  Amanaye 
chief  whose  weak  personality  suggested  that  he  must  have  inherited 
his  position.  Lange  gives  no  other  information  on  political  or  social 

Prior  to  marriage,  young  men  proved  their  fortitude  by  plunging  an 
arm  into  a  braided  fiber  cylinder  that  was  closed  at  both  ends  and  filled 
with  tocandeira  ants. 

Musical  instruments. — ^The  Amunaye  had  a  drum  that  is  unusual  in 
this  area:     A  long,  hollow  emba-uba  tree  trunk  was  suspended  from  a 

202  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

horizontal  branch  by  a  thin,  tough  bush  rope.  While  one  man  beat 
the  drum  with  a  stick,  "another,  probably  a  shaman,  danced  around  it" 
(Lange,  1914). 

Tobacco. — Tobacco  was  smoked  in  huge  cigarettes,  1  foot  (0.3  m.) 
long  and  3^  inch  (1.2  cm.)  thick,  wrapped  in  tauari  bark.  These  were 
passed  around,  each  man  taking  a  few  draughts  in  turn. 

Drinks. — The  Amanaye  drank  a  fermented  beverage  (probably  of 
cassava)  called  cachiri. 


(Amanaye  and  Turiwara) 

Aguiar,  1851 ;  Alencastre,  1857 ;  Arquivos  da  Inspectoria  .  .  .  ,  1942 ;  Baena,  1885 ; 
Brusque,  1862,  1863;  Cruz,  1874;  Cunha,  1852;  Daniel,  1840;  Dodt,  1873;  Ehrenreich, 
1892;  Francisco  de  Nuestra  Senora  dos  Prazeres,  1891 ;  Gama  Malcher,  1878;  Lange, 
1914;  Marques,  1864;  Meerwarth,  1904;  Mendes  de  Almeida,  n.d. ;  Moreira  Pinto, 
1894;  Nimuendaju,  1914  c,  unpublished  notes;  Platzmann,  1896;  Ribeiro,  1848 
(1870);  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio,  1812;  Servigo  de  Protecgao  aos  Indies,  1942;  Souza 
Franco,  1842 ;  Villa  Real,  1848. 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


This  article  will  deal  with  the  Pacaja,  Anambe,  Tapiratia,  Kupe-rob 
(Jandiahi),  Jacunda,  Paracand,  and  Mirano.  These  tribes,  most  of  them 
rM/Ji-speaking,  are  now  virtually  extinct  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  see  Volume  1, 
map  7). 


Pacaja  {Pacajara)  means  in  Tupi,  "master  {ydra)  of  the  paca"  {Coelo- 
genys  paca).  According  to  Bettendorf  (1910,  pp.  97,  111),  the  Pacaja 
used  the  Lingua  Geral. 


This  tribe  appears  to  have  centered  in  the  basin  of  the  Pacaja  de 
Portel  River,  It  may  also  have  lived  in  the  lower  Tocantins  River  and 
the  lower  Xingii  River  where  a  right  tributary  is  named  Pacaja  (de 
Souzel)  River.     (Lat.  2°  S.,  long.  52°  W.) 

In  1613,  an  expedition  of  French  from  Sao  Luiz  do  Maranhao  and  their  allies, 
the  Tupinamba,  passed  the  Pacaiares  River  in  a  campaign  against  the  Camarapin. 
Later,  Father  Yves  d'Evreux  (1864)  makes  a  passing  mention  of  the  Pacaja.  In 
1626(?),  Benito  Maciel  Parente  (1874)  mentioned  them  with  the  Yuruna  and  other 
tribes  between  the  Pacaja  and  "Parnahyba"  (Xingu)  Rivers,  In  1628,  the  Pacaja 
were  "appeased"  (Berredo,  1905,  1:  229,  231)  by  Pedro  da  Costa  Favella  on  his 
expedition  to  the  Tocantins  (Pacaja?)  River.  Bettendorf  (1910,  p.  97)  recounts  with 
some  exaggeration  that  at  their  first  meeting  the  Pacaja  and  the  Tupinamba  an- 
nihilated each  other.  In  1639,  the  Pacaja  are  mentioned  by  Acuiia  ( 1682,  p.  139)  as 
inhabitants  of  the  Pacaja  River.  Between  1656  and  1662,  an  ill-fated  expedition 
went  in  search  of  mines  on  the  Pacaja  River,  and  the  Jesuit  Father  Joao  de  Souto 
Mayor,  who  accompanied  it,  died  (Berredo,  1905,  2:  115).  It  resulted,  however,  in 
the  Pacaja  entering  a  Jesuit  mission  (Arucara  or  Portel?),  from  whence  a  large 
part  escaped  again  to  their  own  land.  The  others  were  sent  to  distant  missions 
(Bettendorf,  1910,  p.  98;  Joao  Daniel,  1841,  p.  182).  In  1763,  the  Pacaja  are  men- 
tioned for  the  last  time  by  De  Sao  Jose  (1947,  p.  490)  as  one  of  the  13  tribes  consti- 
tuting the  population  of  400  in  the  village  of  Portel. 

In  1889,  Ehrenreich  (1891  a,  p.  88;  1892,  p.  149)  was  told  of  the  existence  of 
savage  Pacaja  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Uanapu  and  Pacaja  Rivers  near  Portel, 
a  statement  not  subsequently  confirmed. 



204  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 


Acufia  (1682,  p.  139)  and  Bettendorf  (1910,  p.  97)  considered  the 
Pacajd  brave  and  warlike.  P.  Sotto  Mayor  (1916)  accuses  them  of  can- 
nibalism. In  warfare,  they  eat  the  enemy  which  they  kill  by  hand,  and 
keep  the  skulls  as  trophies.  Some  100  years  later,  Joao  Daniel  (1841) 
describes  them  as  "very  soft  and  lazy"  (i.  e.,  for  work  in  the  mission). 
The  women  wore  short  skirts  and  the  men  short  trousers,  which  they 
might  have  adopted  from  the  runaway  slaves  who  settled  at  the  head- 
waters of  the  Pacaja  River  (?).  They  were  a  canoe  people;  at  their 
encounter  with  the  Tupinamba,  they  came  "in  over  500  canoes" — evidently 
an  exaggeration. 



The  Anambe  ("anambe"  in  the  Lingua  Geral  is  applied  to  a  considerable 
number  of  species  of  birds,  Cotingidae)  were,  by  contrast  to  the  Pacaja, 
a  modern  tribe,  which  appeared  and  disappeared  during  the  past  century. 

The  Anambe  language,  according  to  Ehrenreich's  vocabulary,  was  a 
Tupi  dialect  of  the  He-  group,  very  similar  to  the  Tembe-Guajajara  and 
Turiwara.  If  the  texts  of  legends  in  the  Lingua  Geral  published  by 
Magalhaes  (1876)  were,  as  he  says,  dictated  by  Anambe,  this  tribe  was 
bilingual,  and  at  the  time  did  not  use  its  own  language. 

The  Anambe's  (lat.  4°-5°  S.,  long.  50°-51°  W.)  first  contact  with  the  civilized 
people  was  in  1842  (Brusque,  1862,  p.  12).  In  1852,  they  appeared  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Tocantins  River  (Cunha,  1853,  p.  18)  ;  they  numbered  600.  Another  group 
lived  in  the  village  of  Taua  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Cururuhy,  a  tributary  of  the 
upper  Pacaja  River,  but  it  was  in  contact  with  the  first  byway  of  the  Caripy  River, 
a  tributary  of  the  Tocantins  a  little  above  Alcobaga.  A  village  of  250  Curupity  (?) 
and  Anambe  on  the  upper  Pacaja  River  was  at  war  with  the  Carambu  (Brusque, 
1862,  p.  12).  In  1874,  this  village  was  reduced  to  46  persons.  The  following  year 
37  of  them  died  of  smallpox,  and  the  9  survivors  joined  their  fellow  tribesmen  on 
the  Tocantins  River. 

In  1889,  Ehrenreich  found  a  remnant  of  four  completely  civilized  Anambe  in 
Praia  Grande,  at  the  end  of  the  Tocantins  rapids.  Moura  (1910,  p.  106)  mentions 
Anambe  in  1896  and  shows  a  picture  of  two  men.  The  supposed  "Anambe"  seen 
by  H.  Coudreau  in  1897  were  Arara.    The  tribe  is  today  completely  extinct. 


The  Tapiraua  (tapiira,  "tapir"),  or  Anta,  lived  west  of  Itaboca  Falls 
in  1889  (Ehrenreich,  1891  a,  1892).^  Each  time  they  came  to  the  shore 
of  the  Tocantins,  they  were  driven  back  by  gun  shots.  They  still  used 
stone  implements. 

In  1896  or  1897  (Moura,  1910,  p.  192),  two  "Tapiri,"  or  Anta,  ap- 
peared a  few  kilometers  below  Timbozal.    They  had  short  hair  and  their 

^  The  distance  from  the  Tocantins  is  given  as  3  to  4  days'  travel   (Ehrenreich,   1891  a,  p.  88), 
and  as  1  day's  travel  (Ehrenreich,  1892,  p.  148). 


ears  were  pierced  ,by  tiny  holes,  but  they  lacked  tattoo.  This  tribe  is  not 
subsequently  mentioned  by  name,  but  it  may  possibly  be  the  same  as  the 


Apinaye  tradition  relates  that  a  tribe  called  Kupe-rob  (Kupe,  "Indians," 
i.e.,  non-Timbira,  plus  rob,  "jaguars")  or,  in  Portuguese,  Cupe-lobos, 
lived  below  them  on  the  Tocantins  River  (lat.  5°  S.,  long.  50°  W.),  and 
that  the  Apinaye  occasionally  attacked  them  to  obtain  European-made 
white  beads  before  the  Apinaye  had  begun  to  trade  with  the  civilized 
people.  The  Kupe-rob  perhaps  are  identical  with  the  Jandiahi  who,  in 
1793,  lived  below  Ita,boca  Falls  (Villa  Real,  1848,  p.  426),  and,  in  1844 
(Castelnau,  1850,  p.  113),  lived  on  the  west  shore  near  Itaboca  Falls. 
At  the  later  date,  they  were  hostile  to  the  Jacundd  and  to  the  Christians, 
and  only  rarely  were  met  by  travelers.  Baena  (1870)  mentions  their 
habitat  as  Lake  Vermelho,  at  lat.  5°  10'  S.,  west  of  the  Tocantins  and 
below  the  mouth  of  the  Araguaya.  In  1849,  Ayres  Carneiro  (1910,  pp. 
78-79,  81,  84,  90-91)  found  famished  and  lean  Cupe-lobos  on  the  Can- 
hanha  beach,  near  the  Igarape  do  Pucuruhy,  lat.  4°  10'  S.,  where  they 
were  persecuted  by  the  Apinaye.  In  1896,  this  tribe  appeared  peacefully 
in  the  Rebojo  de  Bacury,  a  little  above  Itaboca  Falls,  hunting  and  fishing, 
and  using  apites  (labrets?)  of  glass  (?)  or  worked  stone  (Moura,  1910, 
pp.  160,  193).  Above  Timbozal  (a  little  above  the  mouth  of  the  Pucuruhy 
River),  they  had  an  old  village  site, 

H.  Coudreau  (1897  b,  p.  43  and  map)  had  a  report  in  1897  of  un- 
identified Indians  on  the  upper  Igarape  do  Bacury.  The  year  before 
these  Indians  had  come  in  contact  with  the  civilized  people.  They  were 
at  first  peaceful  but  soon  became  hostile. 

In  1922,  eight  wild  Indians  appeared  on  Volta  Grande,  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Tocantins.  Both  sexes  had  their  hair  cut  all  around,  and  wore  a 
little  stick  through  the  ears.  The  men  had  their  foreskin  tied  with  an 
embira  string,  and  the  woman  wore  a  band  of  the  same  material.  The 
children  were  carried  in  a  sling  under  the  arm.  The  belly  of  the  bow  was 
flat,  the  outer  side,  convex.  The  bow  string  was  made  of  curaua 
{Bromelia)  and  the  arrows  had  flush  feathering.  A  hammock  was  made 
of  fibers. 

One  of  the  men,  taken  to  Belem  seriously  ill,  gave  the  author  a  list  of 
16  words.  The  language  was  Tupi  of  the  He-  group,  definitely  distinct 
from  Ehrenreich's  Anambe  and  from  Amanaye.  As  the  material  culture 
of  these  people  did  not  correspond  to  that  of  the  Paracand,  it  is  possible 
that  they  were  the  Kupe-rob  survivors.  Also,  it  is  possible  that  the 
Indians  who  occasionally  came  peaceably  to  the  post  of  the  Servico  de 
Protecqao  aos  Indios  on  the  Pucuruhy  River  were  not  Paracana,  as  sup- 
•^osed,  but  Kupe-rob.    The  people  at  the  post  noted  that  they  called  cer- 

206  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

tain  plants  and  animals  by  Tupi  names,  similar  to  those  of  the  Neo- 
Brazilians.  In  1942,  unknown  Indians  were  again  seen  in  the  Igarape  do 
Bacury,  and  it  may  be  that  the  tribe  still  exists  around  there. 


At  the  end  of  the  18th  century  and  during  the  first  half  of  the  19th 
century,  the  Jacundd  lived  on  the  Jacunda  River,  which  empties  into  the 
Tocantins  from  the  right  below  Itaboca  Falls  (lat.  4°  27'  S.,  long.  49° 
W.).  The  name  designates  a  fish  (Crenicichla  sp.).  Meneses'  diary 
(n.  d.,  p.  175)  ascribes  to  these  Indians  "red  eyes,  just  like  those  of  a 
certain  fish  by  the  same  name." 

The  only  record  of  the  Jacundd  language  is  the  names  of  two  chiefs  of 
1793:  Uoriniuera,  which  is  a  Tupian  word  (warinikwera,  "old  war"), 
and  Claxira,  which  is  contrary  to  Tupi  phonetics.  A  map  of  Brazil  of 
1846  states:  "Jacunda,  tractable  people  who  speak  the  Lingua  Geral" 
(Niemaeyer,  1846). 

The  Jacundd  were  first  mentioned  by  Villa  Real  (1848,  pp.  424-426,  432)  in  1793, 
when  they  lived  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Igarape  Guayapi  (Jacunda  River?)  and 
occasionally  appeared  on  the  eastern  bank  of  the  Tocantins.  Another  igarape 
(water  passage)  above  Itaboca  Falls  was  also  inhabited  by  the  Jacundd,  who  had  a 
port  at  its  mouth.  According  to  Villa  Real,  the  Jacundd  had  two  chiefs.  Meneses 
(1919,  p.  175)  mentions  the  Jacundd  in  1799  on  the  Igarape  of  Jacunda,  and  Ribeiro 
(1870,  p.  37)  mentions  them  in  1815  among  the  tribes  of  the  Tocantins  River. 
According  to  Castelnau  (1850),  they  lived  in  1844  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Tocantins, 
above  Itaboca  Falls,  and  were  hostile  to  the  Jundiahi  (Kupe-robf)  of  the  opposite 
bank  and  to  Christians,  who  rarely  saw  them.    In  1849,  they  were  said  to  be  peaceful. 

In  1849,  Ayres  Carneiro  (1910,  p.  45)  saw  30  to  40  Jacundd,  including  women  and 
children,  on  the  Ambaua  beach,  a  little  above  the  present  Alcobaga,  on  the  right 
side  of  the  river,  but  they  fled  into  the  jungle.  Henceforth,  their  name  disappears, 
and,  since  1859  the  Gavioes,  a  Timbira  tribe  of  the  Ge  group  (Handbook,  vol.  1, 
p.  477),  has  occupied  their  region  (Gomes,  1862,  p.  496).  Ehrenreich,  however, 
mentions  the  Jacundd  in  1889,  30  years  after  they  had  probably  become  extinct. 



in  1910,  an  unknown  tribe  of  savage  Indians  appeared  on  the  Pacaja 
River  above  Portel.  Their  repeated  attacks  on  the  Arara-Pariri  caused 
the  latter  to  abandon  their  territory  on  the  Iriuana  River,  a  left  tributary 
of  the  Pacaja,  and  to  take  refuge  with  the  Neo-Brazilians  on  the  lower 
Pacaja.  The  Pariri  called  this  tribe  Paracand  (lat.  4*-5°  S.,  long.  SC- 
SI" W.).  Perhaps  it  was  the  same  tribe  that,  under  the  name  of  Yauariti- 
Tapiiya,  was  hostile  to  the  Anambe  of  the  Pacaja  River  during  the  last 
century  (this  volume,  p.  204).  At  first  they  were  at  peace  with  the  Neo- 
Brazilians,  and  at  times  helped  them  pass  Cachoeira  Grande  Fall  of  the 
Pacaja  River. 


According  to  information  obtained  from  the  Pariri  in  1914,  the 
Paracand  call  thunder,  "tumpo"  {Tupi,  tupa),  and  water,  "i"  (Tupi,  i). 
The  Paracand  language  is,  therefore,  possibly  a  member  of  the  Tupian 

During  the  1920's,  the  Paracand  began  to  appear  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
Tocantins,  above  Alcobaga.  They  were  pretentious  and  demanding,  and, 
though  they  used  no  weapons,  they  frightened  the  residents  away  and 
pillaged  their  houses.  After  1927,  they  became  openly  hostile  toward 
the  civilized  residents.  They  would  come  shooting  arrows,  and  every 
year  they  killed  people,  but  they  did  not  mutilate  the  bodies  nor  take 
trophies.  Civilized  people  attributed  this  hostility  to  the  entrance  of  nut 
gatherers  into  the  regions  west  of  the  Tocantins.  After  one  of  these  at- 
tacks, the  head  of  the  Alcobaga  Railroad  ordered  a  punitive  expedition, 
which  surprised  and  killed  the  Paracand  in  their  camp.  This  incited  the 
Paracand  to  attack  even  within  sight  of  Alcobaga  and  to  extend  their  raids 
north  to  Juana  Peres  and  the  upper  Jacunda  River,  During  the  last 
two  years,  however,  their  raids  on  the  Tocantins  side  have  for  an  unknown 
reason  ceased  completely. 

While  on  the  Pacaja,  these  Indians  were  always  known  as  Paracand, 
a  name  given  to  them  by  the  Pariri.  It  was  wrongly  believed  on  the 
Tocantins  that  they  were  Asurini  from  the  Xingii  River. 


Clothing  and  ornaments. — The  Paracand  cut  the  hair  around  the  head 
and  wore  a  wooden  peg  through  the  lower  lip.  Several  items  of  apparel 
are  among  142  Paracand  objects  in  the  Museu  Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi. 
There  are  short  cotton  women's  skirts,  18  inches  (45  cm.)  long,  made 
with  a  twined  weave,  the  weft  elements  a  finger's  breadth  apart.  The 
warp  runs  all  the  way  around  each  garment,  the  cloth  being  tubular,  like 
that  produced  by  the  "Arawak"  loom.  Some  strings  of  red  cotton 
threads  are  probably  pectoral  ornaments.  There  are  necklaces  of  black 
tiririca  {Scleria  sp.)  seeds,  alternating  with  fine  tubular  bones.  A 
child's  (?)  headband  is  made  of  close-looped  cotton  string  with  a  strip  of 
Neo-Brazilian  cloth  and  15  macaw  tail  feathers  carelessly  attached.  A 
comb  is  made  of  12  teeth  bound  with  thread  between  two  pairs  of  sticks ; 
the  wrapping  is  not  ornamental.  Jingles,  probably  worn  below  the  knee 
or  on  the  ankle,  are  made  of  piqui  {Caryocar  sp.)  nuts  hung  on  cotton 

Basketry. — A  rectangular  basket  of  the  "jamaxim"  type  for  carrying 
objects  on  the  back  has  the  outer  side  and  the  top  end  open.  The  side 
against  the  carrier's  back  and  the  bottom  have  a  twilled  weave  and  black 
zigzag  designs;  the  outer  sides  have  a  fine,  open  octagonal  weave,  the 
strips  running  in  four  directions. 

208  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Weaving. — A  hammock  58  inches  (1.8  m.)  long,  is  woven  of  twined 
cotton  strings  and  of  strings  taken  from  hammocks  stolen  from  Neo- 
Brazilians.    The  weft  elements  are  3  to  4  inches  (7  to  10  cm.)  apart. 

Weapons. — Arrows  have  camayuva  shafts,  54  to  66  inches  (1.4  to 
1.7  m.)  long,  and  sewn  feathering  which  is  bound  with  fine  thread  and 
frequently  decorated  with  small  toucan  feathers.  Three  types  of  heads  are  : 
(1)  Lanceolate  bamboo  blades,  24  inches  (70  cm.)  long  and  about  2  inches 
(5.5  cm.)  broad  at  the  widest  point.  These  are  smeared  with  black  paint 
on  the  concave  side  and  a  few  specimens  bear  a  crude  black  design  on  the 
convex  side.  Just  behind  the  point,  some  arrows  have  a  palm  coconut, 
about  \y2  inches  (4  cm.)  in  diameter,  perforated  with  a  row  of  as  many 
as  nine  holes  around  it.  (2)  Bone  points,  either  without  barbs  or  with  a 
barb  on  one  or  both  sides.  (3)  Plain,  rodlike  wooden  points.  The  bow 
is  of  paxiuba  wood,  very  wide  (5  cm.,  or  2  in.),  flat  (1  to  2  cm.  thick), 
similar  to  the  Asurini  bow.  It  is  about  159.5  cm.  (62  in.)  long.  The 
ends  are  cut  with  shoulders,  to  hold  the  cord,  5  cm.  and  11.5  cm.  respec- 
tively from  the  ends. 

Fire. — Torches  are  made  of  cotton  cords  or  of  Neo-BraziHan  cloth,  and 
are  impregnated  with  beeswax. 

Musical  instruments. — A  set  of  panpipes  has  8  tubes,  ranging  from 
53^  to  10  inches  (12  to  26  cm.)  in  length  and  5  to  12  mm.  in  diameter 
and  held  together  by  two  parallel  ligatures  of  Neo-Brazilian  cotton. 


Rivet  (1924,  p.  689)  places  a  Tupi  tribe  of  Mirano  Indians  "between  the 
Acara  and  Capim  Rivers  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Bujaru."  On  the 
map  of  the  State  of  Para  by  Santa  Rosa,  the  "Indios  Miranhios"  appear 
on  the  left  margin  of  the  Capim  River,  at  lat.  2°30'  S.  There  was  never 
any  tribe  by  this  name,  however.  Among  the  Tembe  there  was  a  large 
family  called  "Miranya."  The  present  author  found  members  of  this 
family  in  the  Indian  village  of  Prata  as  late  as  1916.  Since  the  place 
where  the  Mirano  was  supposed  to  be  settled  coincides  almost  exactly 
with  the  old  Tembe  village  of  Mariquita,  it  is  probable  that  the  so-called 
Mirano  were  in  reality  Tembe. 

According  to  Metraux  (1928  a,  p.  22),  "Amiranha"  is  a  synonym  of 
Jacimdd.  The  Amanaye  of  the  Ararandeua  River  spoke  to  the  present 
author  in  1913  about  a  tribe  called  Mirdn,  but  they  could  not  tell  him 
where  they  were  settled. 


Acuna,  1682 ;  Ayres  Carneiro,  1910 ;  Baena,  1870 ;  Berredo,  1905 ;  Bettendorf,  1910 ; 
Brusque,  1862;  Castelnau,  1850;  Coudreau,  H.,  1897  b;  Cunha,  1853;  Daniel,  1841; 
Ehrenreich,  1891  a,  1892,  1895;  Gomes,  1862,  Maciel  Parente.  1874;  Magal- 
haes,  1876;  Meneses,  1919;  Metraux,  1928  a;  Moreira  Pinto,  1894;  Moura,  1910; 
Niemaeyer,  1846;  Nimuendaju,  1939;  Ribeiro,  1870;  Rivet,  1924;  Sao  Jose,  1847; 
Sotto  Mayor,  1916;  Souza,  1874;  Villa  Real,  1848;  Yves  d'Evreux,  1864. 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


In  1668-69,  an  expedition,  led  by  Major  J.  de  Almeida  Freire,  started 
out  along  the  Tocantins  River  against  the  Poqui  Indians,  who  lived  8  days' 
march  from  its  banks.  On  the  way  back,  the  expedition  passed  the 
Aracaju  and  brought  back  many  bows  and  arrows,  "with  some  wide  and 
long  shields,  covered  with  beautiful  feathers"  (Bettendorf,  1910,  p.  32). 
(Lat.  4°  S.,  long.  52°  W.) 

In  1679,  P.  Jodoco  Peres,  of  Jaguaqtiara  (north  side  of  the  Amazon,  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Paru)  sought  the  Aracajii  who  were  "in  the  wilds  of  the  Tocanhapes," 
i.e.,  the  right  side  of  the  lower  Xingu,  south  of  the  Amazon.  In  1680,  P.  Antonio 
dc  Silva  went  by  way  of  the  ba3'Ou  (Pacaja  de  Souzel  River)  and  the  backwoods 
of  the  Tocanhapes,  and  brought  some  400  Indians  down  to  the  Indian  village  of 
Cussary  (in  front  of  the  present  Monte  Alegre,  on  the  right  side  of  the  Amazon). 
Shortly  thereafter,  in  1681,  however,  Bettendorf  tells  about  being  received  by  the 
chiefs  of  the  Aracaju  in  Jaguaquara,  where  these  Indians  had  made  a  large  house, 
which  they  abandoned  because  the  land  there  was  very  poor  for  agriculture  (Betten- 
dorf, 1910,  pp.  324,  335,  337).  By  1681,  therefore,  the  Aracajii  were  no  longer  in 
Cussary,  south  of  the  Amazon,  but  in  Jaguaquara,  on  the  northern  side.  It  seems 
tliat  they  settled  on  the  Paru  River,  where  their  presence  is  mentioned  in  1702,  when 
the  Commissary  of  the  Capuchins,  Fr.  Jeronymo  de  Sao  Francisco,  transferred 
Indians  from  five  tribes,  among  them  the  Aracaju,  to  the  new  Indian  village  of  the 
Aroaqui  on  the  Urubu  River  (Ferreira,  1841). 

Martius  found  in  1820  that  the  Aracaju  and  Apama  comprised  the  population  of 
Almeirim  (Spix  and  Martius,  1823-31,  1:324).  The  few  Aracaju  still  at  liberty 
Hved  on  the  Paru  River  in  small  isolated  Indian  villages.  Altliough  at  peace  with  the 
Brazilians,  they  could  rarely  be  persuaded  to  live  among  them.  They  were  rather 
dark  Indians,  with  no  distinguishing  characteristics.  Their  weapons  were  not 
poisoned.  They  were  constantly  at  war  with  the  "Oaiapis"  (JVayapi)  of  the  upper 
Jary  and  Iratapuru  Rivers  and  with  the  Cossari  of  the  Araguaya  River.  Subse- 
quently, no  further  mention  is  made  of  them. 

Martius,  who  tends  to  explain  all  names  by  the  Lingua  Geral,  interprets 
Aracajii  as  uara-guagu,  "great  people."  He  considers  "wara"  to  be  a 
substantive,  meaning  "man"  or  "people,"  whereas  it  is  really  a  personal 
ending.  The  vocabulary  (1863,  p.  17)  which  he  collected  in  Gurupa  also 
calls  forth  the  following  remarks :    Of  his  53  words,  24  are  clearly  Tupi 

1  Map  1,  No.  1 ;  see  Volume  1,  map  7. 


210  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

and  21  no  less  clearly  Carib,  while  8  cannot  be  definitely  identified.  The 
Tupi  words  belong  to  the  Lingua  Geral,  not  to  some  special  dialect,  and, 
therefore,  probably  do  not  represent  the  tribe's  original  tongue  but  the 
language  which  they  learned  at  the  mission.  The  Carib  words  are  not 
identical  with  those  of  the  Aparai,  as  Rivet  thought  (1924,  p.  660),  though 
they  have  greater  resemblance  to  the  dialects  north  of  the  Amazon  than  to 
those  of  the  south  (e.g.,  Arara,  etc.).  Because  the  Aracaju  came  from 
the  south  of  the  Amazon,  one  reaches  the  conclusion  that  these  Carib 
words  also  do  not  represent  the  original  Aracaju  language,  but  that  they 
were  acquired  through  contact  with  some  Carib  tribe  after  they  lived  north 
of  the  Amazon,  and  that  their  own  original  tongue  has  been  lost  entirely. 


In  the  Aparai  language,  apoto  means  "fire,"  and  thus  Araujo  Amazonas 
and  Ignacio  Accioly  write  the  name  of  a  tribe  which  is  also  called,  probably 
by  a  mistaken  transcription,  Apanto  and  Apauto.  The  few  references  to 
this  tribe  are  all  based  on  that  of  Christobal  d'Acuna  in  1639  (1682), 
wherein  he  states  that  four  tribes  lived  on  the  Cunurizes  (Nhamunda) 
River,  the  first  having  lent  its  name  to  the  river  on  the  mouth  of  which 
it  lived,  and  the  second,  above  the  mouth,  being  the  Apoto  tribe  "which 
speaks  the  Lingua  Geral."    This  is  all  that  is  known  about  these  Indians. 


Three  sources  give  slight  information  about  a  tribe  or  tribes  called 

(1)  The  Pauxi  (pausi,  paushi,  undoubtedly  a  Carib  word  meaning 
"mutum,"  Cracidae  sp. ;  cf.  Pansiana,  a  Carib  tribe  on  Caratirimani  River) , 
according  to  Bettendorf  (1910),  spoke  the  Lingua  Geral.  It  was  settled 
in  the  region  of  the  Xingu  River.  Between  1658  and  1660,  the  Jesuit, 
P.  Salvador  do  Valle,  brought  more  than  600  of  this  tribe  to  the  Indian 
village  of  Tapara,  on  the  right  side  of  that  river,  almost  at  its  mouth. 
There  is  no  further  notice  of  them. 

(2)  The  "Fort  of  the  Pauxis"  was  founded  in  1697  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Amazon,  where  the  present-day  Villa  de  Obidos  is  situated,  and 
Pauxis  is  today  still  the  name  of  a  lake  just  below  this  village.  Near 
this  fort  there  were  two  small  Indian  villages  which,  in  1758,  were  com- 
bined with  another  from  farther  away  in  the  Villa  de  Obidos  (Moraes, 
1860,  p.  508),  but  nothing  further  is  known  of  the  tribe  or  tribes  which 
lived  there.  P.  Fritz  (1922),  in  1690,  speaks  of  the  tribe  of  the  "Cunur- 
izes" (map  of  1691)  exactly  on  the  spot  where  the  fort  was  to  be  built 
6  years  later. 

(3)  When  O.  Coudreau  (1901)  mapped  the  "Cumina"  River  (Erepe- 
curu)  in  1900,  a  descendant  of  fugitive  slaves  living  on  this  river  informed 
her  that  a  tribe  of  Indians  called  Pauxi  (pronounced  pausi,  paushi)  lived 


in  the  headwaters  of  the  Agua  Fria,  Penecura,  and  Acapu  Bayous,  right 
tributaries  of  the  Erepecurii  River,  a  little  above  its  mouth.  According 
to  this  information,  the  tribe  had  first  lived  in  Obidos,  but  before  the 
coming  of  civilized  people,  it  retreated  to  the  Erepecuru  River,  then  to 
the  mouth  of  the  Penecura  River,  and,  finally,  to  the  headwaters  of  this 
river.  After  1877,  its  relations  with  the  fugitive  slaves  had  been  broken. 
From  the  same  informant,  Coudreau  obtained  a  list  of  38  words.  The 
language  is  Carib,  but  it  differs  from  the  dialect  of  the  Kasuend  {Cash- 
uend)  of  the  Cachorro  River,  their  nearest  neighbors,  and  from  that  of 
the  Pianocoto  of  the  upper  Erepecuru  (Coudreau,  O.,  1901,  pp.  132-133). 
The  Pauxi  no  longer  exist. 


Acufia,  1682;  Berredo,  1905,  vol.  1;  Bettendorf,  1910;  Coudreau,  O,  1901; 
Ferreira,  A.  R.,  1841;  Fritz,  1691,  1922;  Martius,  1863;  Moraes,  1860;  Rivet,  1924; 
Sao  Jose,  1847 ;  Spix  and  Martius,  1823-31,  vol.  3. 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


The  Xingii  Basin,  as  far  south  as  lat.  7°  S.,  is  exclusively  characterized 
by  Amazonian  virgin  forest,  whose  wealth  of  rubber  and  nuts  attracted 
the  attention  of  civilized  man.  From  that  latitude  south  or  upstream, 
savannas  appear,  becoming  more  and  more  predominant  southward,  until 
the  forest  is  reduced  to  a  narrow  border  along  watercourses,  sometimes 
even  encroaching  upon  the  river  banks. 

It  is  rolling  country.  The  "Morro  Grande"  of  the  Xingii  River  rises 
to  some  975  ft.  (300  m.)  above  the  level  of  the  river.  The  watercourses 
are  interrupted  by  rapids  and  the  Xingii  River  beyond  Volta  Grande 
is  one  of  the  most  difficult  rivers  in  Brazil  to  navigate.  Over  long 
stretches  the  bed  of  the  river  is  filled  with  enormous  rocks  cut  through 
by  channels  full  of  rapids.     The  Iriri  River  is  of  similar  type. 

The  tribes  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  see  Volume  1,  map  7)  of  this  region  may 
be  classified  according  to  these  geographical  features  into  three  groups. 

(1)  Canoeing  tribes  restricted  to  the  Xingii,  Iriri,  and  Curua  Rivers: 
Yuruna,  Ship  ay  a,  Arupai. 

(2)  Tribes  of  the  central  virgin  forest:  Curuaya,  Arara,  Asurini,  and, 
formerly,  Tacunyape. 

(3)  Savanna  tribes  that  only  temporarily  invade  the  forest  zone: 
Northern  Cayapo,  which  were  dealt  with  in  Lowie's  paper  on  "The 
Northwestern  and  Central  Ge"  (Handbook,  vol.  1,  pp.  477-517). 


Farming,  with  manioc  the  staple  crop,  was  the  basis  of  subsistence 
among  all  these  tribes  except  perhaps  the  Arara,  who  were  less  clearly 
horticultural.  Caimans,  turtles,  honey,  and  Brazil  nuts  were  outstanding 
wild  foods.  The  Yuruna,  Shipaya,  and  Tacunyape  built  large  communal 
dwellings  in  isolated  places  for  fear  of  attack.  Excellent  canoemen,  the 
Yuruna  and  Shipaya  lived  along  the  rivers,  whereas  the  other  tribes  kept 
to  the  forests.  Houses  were  furnished  with  wooden  stools  and  ham- 
mocks. Dress  included  breechclouts  (?)  {Curuaya),  women's  wrap- 
around skirts,  and  men's  penis  covers  ( Yuruna  and  Shipaya),  and  women's 


214  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

aprons  (Tacupyape) .  Ornaments  were  the  usual  Tropical  Forest  types: 
feather  headdresses,  arm  and  leg  bands,  necklaces,  ear  sticks,  nose 
pendants  (Arara),  and  lip  plugs  {Curuaya).  Among  manufactures, 
which  suffered  because  of  much  nomadism  enforced  by  warfare,  were: 
Cotton  textiles  (Yuruna)  ;  ceramics,  which  are  usually  plain;  incised 
gourds  (Shipaya)  ;  and  stone  axes.  The  bow  and  arrow  was  the  main 

The  sociopolitical  unit  was  the  village,  seemingly  patrilineal  in  organiza- 
tion and  in  descent  of  chieftainship.  There  was  little  polygyny  and  family 
ties  were  very  strong.  Intertribal  relations  involved  intermittent  warfare, 
with  cannibalism  ascribed  to  the  Yuruna  and  Shipaya  and  trophies  more 
general.  The  latter  include  skulls  (Yuruna,  Shipaya,  Curuaya),  bone 
trumpets  (Yuruma),  tooth  necklaces  (Shipaya),  and  scalps  (Arara). 

These  tribes  drank  much  fermented  liquor,  but  had  no  drunken  brawls. 
The  Yuruna  smoked  tobacco  in  cigarettes.  Musical  instruments  include 
panpipes;  shaman's  gourd  rattles;  gourd  horns;  gourd,  wooden,  and 
human-skull  trumpets;  bone  flutes,  clarinets,  and  whistles.  The  pre- 
dominating art  motif  is  the  maze;  sculpture  reproduced  mythical 

Shipaya  and  probably  Yuruna  religion  was  based  on  a  cult  of  the  jaguar 
demon,  who  was  the  patron  of  war  and  cannibalism,  and  a  feast  of  the 
dead,  in  which  men  and  women  drank  chicha.  The  Tacunyape  had  a 
similar  feast.  The  shaman,  in  the  capacity  of  priest,  served  as  inter- 
mediary between  people  and  demons  and  souls.  As  medicine  man,  he 
cured,  without  the  aid  of  supernatural  spirits,  by  sucking,  massaging, 
and  blowing  cigarette  smoke  to  remove  the  disease-causing  substance. 


Of  the  tribes  on  the  lower  and  middle  Xingu,  the  Arara  stand  apart 
as  Carihan.  Their  speech  is  so  close  to  Yaruma  (Paranayuba  River,  a 
tributary  of  the  right  bank  of  the  upper  Xingii)  as  to  permit  the  hypothesis 
of  a  common  ancestral  tribe,  the  Arara  turning  north,  the  Yaruma  south, 
perhaps  separating  under  Cayapo  pressure  (Ehrenreich,  1895). 

All  other  tribes  are  Tupi.  To  be  sure,  there  is  not  the  slightest  record 
of  Asurini  speech,  but  an  English  missionary  conversant  with  Guajajara 
who  spoke  with  a  young  Asurini  woman  captured  by  the  Gorotire  com- 
mented on  the  resemblance  of  her  tongue  to  the  language  familiar  to 
him.  Accordingly,  Asurini  may  be  reckoned  as  probably  Tupi.  About 
the  remaining  languages  we  can  be  more  positive. 

Martius  (1867)  and  Lucien  Adam  (1896)  challenge  the  Tupi  relation- 
ship of  Yuruna,  which  is  accepted  by  such  competent  authorities  as  Betten- 
dorf,  Von  den  Steinen,  and  Brinton.  Closer  study  leads  me  to  the 
provisional  conclusion  that  Yuruna,  Shipaya,  Manitsaud,  and  perhaps 
Arupai  form  a  special  division  of  impure  Tupi  languages.    Lexical  Tupi 


elements  in  Yuruna  are  conspicuous,  though  often  obscured  by  alterations 
so  that  correspondences  are  proved  only  by  comparison  with  Shipaya  and 
Manitsaud  equivalents.  Contrary  to  Adam's  assumption,  there  are  also 
important  grammatical  features  of  Tupi  type,  though  less  numerous  than 
might  be  inferred  from  the  large  percentage  of  Tupi  vocables.  However, 
the  Yuruna  group  does  differ  greatly  from  Tupi  proper,  especially  in  the 
pronominal  system.  The  present  author  tentatively  recognizes  four  com- 
ponents: (1)  A  Tupi  foundation,  even  anciently  modified  by  strong 
influences  due  to  (2)  Arazvak,  and  in  lesser  degree  to  (3)  Carib  languages ; 
to  these  must  be  added  (4)  recent  loans  from  the  Lingua  Geral. 

Shipaya  differs  so  little  from  Yuruna  as  to  permit,  with  some  trouble, 
mutual  intelligibility.  Some  two  dozen  words  differ  radically;  otherwise 
regular  shifts  appear: 









se,  si 


zi,  ze 










Thus,  we  have : 









in  (post- 









to  go 




The  grammatical  divergences  are  insignificant :  The  imperative  differs ; 
the  negative  ka  of  Shipaya  corresponds  to  Yuruna  poga  and  teha ;  Yuruna 
regularly  forms  the  future  with  the  auxiliary  verb  ca  (to  go),  whereas 
Shipaya  has  recourse  to  adverbs. 

The  Arupai  spoke  Yuruna.  They  are  in  no  way  connected  with  the 
Gurupd  of  the  Tocantins  River  and  the  Urupd  of  the  Gy-Parana. 

Curuaya  resembles  Mundurucu  as  closely  as  Yuruna  does  Shipaya. 
In  some  cases  it  preserves  primitive  Tupi  forms  better  than  Mundurucu. 

The  Tacunyape,  according  to  the  Jesuits,  spoke  the  Lingua  Geral, 
whereas  Von  den  Steinen  credits  them  with  a  Tupi  dialect  appreciably 
distinct  from  Yuruna.  The  present  author  found  no  TacMnya/>^-speaking 
Indians,  but  three  Neo-Brazilians,  formerly  resident  in  the  area  and  during 
the  last  20  years  of  the  last  century  in  close  contact  with  the  tribe,  dic- 
tated 34  words  and  phrases,  probably  badly  garbled.  Though  diverging 
considerably  from  the  standard  Lingua  Geral  (final  t's!),  their  Tupi  re- 
lationship is  beyond  doubt. 

216  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


Not  only  along  the  Xingu  River  and  its  larger  affluents,  the  Iriri  and 
Fresco  Rivers,  but  also  along  the  smaller  tributaries  and  subtributaries, 
are  found  vestiges  of  a  vanished  population,  whose  culture  differed  from 
that  of  the  tribes  found  in  the  20th  century.  The  impression  is  that  these 
tribes  formerly  occupied  all  of  the  jungle  region  of  the  Xingu  Basin, 
These  vestiges  comprise : 

(1)  Dwelling  sites  found  on  points  of  solid  land  jutting  out  to  the 
edge  of  the  water  and  easily  recognized  by  their  "black  earth,"  a  cultural 
layer  containing  fragments  of  pottery  and  stone  instruments. 

The  pottery  can  be  distinguished  at  first  sight  from  that  of  present-day 
tribes.  On  the  lower  Xingu  and  lower  Iriri  Rivers  it  is  rich  in  plastic 
adornment,  recalling  somewhat  the  pottery  of  the  Monte  Alegre  region 
or  even  of  the  Tapajo.  The  pottery  of  the  middle  Xingu  River  and  its 
affluents  is  plainer,  with  little  plastic  or  engraved  ornamentation,  and  is 
not  uniform.  On  the  Igarape  das  Flechas  River,  a  tributary  of  the  upper 
Curua  River,  two  small  stone  statuettes  were  found,  one  representing  a 
beetle,  the  other  a  man. 

(2)  Cemeteries.  In  the  same  "black  earth"  are  found  burial  remains. 
In  the  streets  of  Porto  de  Moz  and  Altamira,  there  may  be  seen  the 
mouths  of  urns  covered  by  other  vessels ;  Panellas,  a  little  above  Altamira, 
owes  its  name  to  such  findings.  In  Porto  Seguro,  at  lat.  7°  10'  S.,  on  a 
permanent  island  of  the  Xingu  River,  funeral  urns  are  found,  and  among 
them  superficially  buried  skeletons,  lying  stretched  on  their  backs.  Be- 
cause of  their  size,  all  these  urns  could  have  served  only  for  secondary 

The  presence  of  funeral  urns  distinguished  the  culture  of  the  Xingii 
Basin  from  that  of  the  neighboring  Tapajo  and  its  affiliates. 

(3)  Petroglyphs.  Along  the  Itamaraca  and  Cajituba  Falls  of  the  Volta 
Grande  do  Xingu,  at  Caxinguba  (lat.  5°  20'  S.),  and  along  the  lower 
Pacaja  and  upper  Iriri,  the  figures  of  men,  of  animals,  and  of  unknown 
meaning  are  engraved  on  the  surface  of  the  smooth  rocks.  The  most 
important  are  those  at  Itamaraca,  already  known  to  the  first  Jesuit 
missionaries  in  the  17th  century,  and  one  in  Pacaja. 

(4)  Monoliths.  In  a  stony  stretch  of  the  Xingu  River,  at  lat.  7°  20'  S., 
are  eight  more  or  less  vertical  small  stone  pillars,  which  are  from  1  to  2 
meters  (3^  to  6j'2  ft.)  in  height  and  are  roughly  broken  off  but  not 
carved.    There  can  be  no  doubt  as  to  their  artificial  origin. 

(5)  At  various  points  of  the  middle  Xingu  and  of  the  lower  Iriri  Rivers, 
there  may  be  found  about  50  piles  of  small  stone  blocks  on  the  slabs  of 
the  falls. 

Stratification. — Downstream  from  Volta  Grande,  these  remains  must, 
at  least  in  part,  be  ascribed  to  the  tribes  which  were  encountered  by  the 


first  explorers.  Above  this  point,  however,  there  is  a  hiatus  between  the 
prehistoric  and  historic  peoples.  The  Indians  of  today  know  nothing  of 
their  origin.  When  the  Yuruna,  Shipaya,  Arupai,  and  other  tribes  ap- 
peared, the  sedentary  potters  no  longer  existed,  probably  having  been 
annihilated  by  the  expanding  Northern  Cayapo,  who,  coming  from  the 
open  country  of  the  south,  spread  throughout  the  Xingu  Basin.  When 
the  Tupi  tribes  appeared,  they  found  the  Cayapo  already  there,  for  their 
traditions  always  make  them  coexistent,  no  story  accounting  for  their 
appearance.  These  Tupi  tribes,  with  the  exception  of  the  Curuaya,  the 
westernmost  tribe,  succeeded  in  penetrating  and  inhabiting  these  regions — 
incidentally,  with  great  difficulty — only  because  they  were  excellent  boat- 
men and  occupied  the  islands  of  the  great  rivers,  while  the  Cayapo  made 
only  very  primitive  craft,  which  they  used  exclusively  to  cross  the  rivers. 


These  populations  disappeared,  and  no  chronicler  has  left  us  any 
information  of  ethnographic  value  about  them.  The  chart  of  Joannes 
de  Laet  (1899),  dated  1625,  shows  the  presence  of  Apehou  on  both  sides 
of  the  mouth  of  the  Xingu  River;  in  the  Tupi  language  of  the  "He-" 
group,  Apehou  means  "man"  (apihaw).  After  1639,  the  Jesuits  began 
to  establish  themselves  on  the  Xingu  River,  but  no  one  knows  what  Indians 
composed  their  missions.  The  first  missionary,  Luiz  Figueira,  preached 
in  1636  in  Tabpinima  (the  modern  Itapinimaf)  to  Indians  "who  were 
not  well  versed  in  the  Lingua  Geral,"  i.  e.,  Tupi-Guarani,  and  founded 
the  Xingu  mission  later  called  Itacuruga  and  today  known  as  Veiros. 
Shortly  after,  five  more  missions  were  established.  Old  chronicles  and 
maps  (Heriarte,  1874  [written  in  1662]  ;  Samuel  Fritz,  1922  [map  of 
1691]  ;  Bettendorf,  1910  [written  in  1699])  refer  specially  to  three  tribes: 
the  Coani,  the  Guahuara,  and  the  Guayapi.  The  last  two  spoke  the  Lingua 
Geral.  These  three  tribes  probably  inhabited  the  western  side  of  the 
river.  At  that  time  the  Parana  of  Aquiquy,  an  offshoot  of  the  Amazon 
that  flows  into  the  Xingu,  a  little  above  Porto  de  Moz,  was  known  as 
the  "Coanizes  River."  The  Guayapi  were  settled  for  a  time  at  the  be- 
ginning of  Volta  Grande ;  in  1763,  they  and  the  Yuruna  were  still  reported 
at  Freguezia  de  Souzel.  Most  of  this  tribe,  however,  seems  to  have 
emigrated  earlier  to  the  north  of  the  Amazon  River,  probably  by  way 
of  Jary,  and  established  themselves  on  the  Oyapock  River,  where  they 
are  mentioned  after  1729.  The  Guahuara  tribe  in  1688  had  22  villages 
in  the  interior  of  the  central  forests  (sertao).  From  Bettendorf  one  gets 
the  impression  that  this  tribe  is  identical  with  the  Curabare  or  Curuaya. 

In  the  19th  century,  writers  no  longer  spoke  of  Indians  on  the  lower 
Xingu  River,  because  the  survivors  had  fused  with  the  semicivilized  pop- 
ulation which  spoke  the  Lingua  Geral. 

218  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


Synonyms. — Juruna,  Jurnima,  Jiiruhuna,  Geruna  (from  the  Tupi- 
Guarani,  yuru,  "mouth,"  plus  una,  "black")  ;  self -designation  and  Ship- 
aya,  Ytidya  (meaning?)  ;  in  Curuaya,  Parawa-wad  (parawa,  "blue 
macaw,"  plus  wad,  "people")  ;  in  Arara,  Paru-podeari  (paru,  "water")  ; 
in  Cayapo,  No-iren  (no,  "water"). 

History,  territory,  and  number. — The  first  reference  to  this  tribe  is  found  in  a 
memorial  written  by  Maciel  Parente  (1874)  in  1626:  ".  .  .  the  island  between  the 
Pacaja  branch  [of  Portel]  and  the  Parnahyba  [Xingu]  .  .  .  where  are  situated  the 
provinces  of  the  Pacajaras  [Pacaja],  Coanapus  [Anapu],  Caraguatas  [?],  and  Juru- 
hunas."  (Lat.  5°-6"'  S.,  long.  53°  W.) 

Afterward,  during  the  entire  17th  century,  we  learn  only  of  the  more  or  less  vain 
attempts  to  reduce  the  Yuruna  to  the  secular  or  clerical  regime.  The  chronology  of 
these  happenings  is,  however,  very  doubtful.  An  expedition  from  Sao  Paulo 
descending  the  Xingu  was  attacked  on  one  of  the  islands  of  the  river;  only  two 
tame  Indians  escaped,  the  rest  being  killed.  An  expedition  commanded  by  the 
Captain-General  of  Gurupa,  Joao  Velho  do  Valle,  composed  of  100  musketeers  and 
3,000  tame  Indians,  was  driven  back  with  heavy  losses.  In  1655  or  1657,  the  Jesuits 
were  able  to  settle  two  large  divisions  of  the  tribe  in  villages  in  Maturu  (Porto  de 
Moz)  ;  this  work  was,  however,  interrupted  by  the  first  expulsion  of  the  order  in 
1661.  Later  (1665?)  the  Jesuits  took  some  Yuruna  and  Tacunyape  to  the  villages 
of  the  lower  Xingu,  but  the  majority  returned  to  the  plains.  In  1666  (?),  the 
Ynruna  defeated  another  party.  Between  1682  and  1685,  the  Yuruna  and  Tacunyape 
defeated  an  expedition  of  tame  Indians  and  Caravare  {Curuaya)  led  by  Gon^alvcs 
Paes  de  Araujo,  inflicting  great  losses.  Then  the  Yuruna  started  out  in  30  war 
canoes  to  attack  the  civilized  population.  In  1691  or  1692,  the  Jesuits  failed  in  an 
attempt  to  reopen  relations,  the  Yuruna  killing  every  one  sent  out  to  them. 

According  to  Father  Jose  de  Mello  Moraes  (1860),  the  Yuruna  were  settled  in 
four  small  villages  on  islands  of  the  Xingu,  30  leagues  from  its  mouth.  As  he  sets 
the  distance  between  the  mouth  and  the  first  falls  at  40  leagues,  the  Yuruna  were 
still  10  leagues  below  those  falls.  These  tribes  must  have  early  abandoned  this 
place,  however,  retreating  to  above  the  falls  of  Volta  Grande,  where  the  Jesuits  (in 
the  middle  of  the  18th  century?)  also  had  the  mission  of  Anauera  or  Tauaquera, 
a  little  above  present-day  Altamira.  The  missionaries  were  finally  expelled  by  the 
Indians,  who  were  dissatisfied  with  their  strictness. 

During  the  following  150  years,  there  is  no  record  of  the  tribes  above  Volta  Grande, 
which  seem  to  have  been  left  to  themselves,  protected  by  the  dangerous  falls  and  by 
their  reputation  as  ferocious  cannibals ;  as  late  as  1831,  their  attacks  were  feared 
above  Souzel.  In  1841,  the  Vicar  of  this  village,  Torquato  Antonio  de  Souza,  made 
a  new  attempt  to  establish  a  mission  in  Tauaquera,  which,  after  a  few  years,  seems 
to  have  been  abandoned. 

In  1843,  the  Yuruna,  by  that  time  completely  tame,  were  visited  by  Prince  Adalbert 
of  Prussia,  guided  by  Father  Torquato.  At  that  time  they  lived  in  nine  small  villages 
between  Tauaquera  and  a  point  1  hour  above  Piranhaquara.  There  was  no  village 
in  Volta  Grande,  but  the  Yuruna  paid  friendly  visits  in  Souzel  and  knew  a  little 
Tupi-Guarani.  Father  Torquato  reported  their  number  as  2,000,  which  would 
average  222  to  each  village ;  possibly  200  would  come  nearer  to  the  truth. 

In  1859,  the  Government  of  the  Province  of  Para  initiated  again  the  catechization 
of  the  tribes  above  Volta  Grande;  however,  the  first  attempt  was  a  failure.  At  this 
time  the  number  of  Yuruna,  in  three  villages,  was  calculated  at  235.  This  mission 
was  kept  up  until  about  1880,  with,  it  seems,  little  success.     In  a  fairly  detailed 


report  by  President  Carlos  de  Araujo  Brusque  (1863),  apparently  based  on  informa- 
tion given  by  the  missionary,  the  total  number  of  Yuruna  in  that  year  was  250. 

When  Von  den  Steinen  descended  the  Xingu  in  1884,  this  mission  was  no  longer 
in  existence.  Two  hundred  and  five  Yuruna  inhabited  five  villages  between  "Pedra 
Preta"  (lat.  4°  40'  S.),  above  Piranhaquara,  and  lat.  8'  30'  S.,  a  little  below  Pedra 
Seca.  These  Indians  still  maintained  their  independence,  and  their  original  culture 
was  almost  intact.  The  civilized  population  had  not  yet  reached  the  mouth  of 
the  Iriri. 

When  H.  Coudreau  visited  the  Xingu  in  1896,  the  situation  of  the  tribe  was 
completely  changed.  The  150  Yuruna,  except  for  a  group  which  had  fled  a  little 
beyond  Carreira  Comprida,  had  fallen  into  servitude  to  the  rubber  gatherers,  whose 
authority  was  extended  to  above  the  mouth  of  the  Triumph  River.  Another  small 
group,  led  by  Tuxaua  Muratti,  lived  in  Cachoeira  Jurucua,  in  Volta  Grande.  The 
two  largest  groups,  working  for  Raymundo  Marques  in  Pedra  Preta  and  the 
Gomes  Brothers  in  Caxinguba  (lat.  5"  20'  S.)  were  composed,  respectively,  of  15  and 
30  persons. 

In  1910,  a  rubber-plantation  owner  crossed  Carreira  Comprida  and  settled  a  little 
below  Pedra  Seca.  The  Yuruna  refugees  there  came  under  his  authority,  tried  to 
flee  upriver,  but  were  pursued  with  firearms.  Later,  impelled  by  poverty  and  by  the 
attacks  of  the  Cayapo,  part  of  them  returned,  but  in  1916  they  once  more  fled  to 
the  upper  Xingu  never  to  return.  They  settled  near  the  mouth  of  a  tributary  of  the 
left  bank,  a  little  above  the  Martins  Falls,  where  they  were  still  found  in  1928  by 
G.  M.  Dyott's  expedition.  They  number  about  30  Indians.  Probably  there  are  also 
survivors  in  Volta  Grande  of  Tuxiua  Muratii's  family, 


Synonyms. — Juaicipoia,  Jacipoya,  Jacipuyd,  Javipuya,  Acipoya,  Achu- 
paya,  Achipaye,  Axipai,  Chipaya.  Self-designation  and  Yuruna:  Shipdy 
(shipa,  bamboo  for  the  arrowheads,  plus  -i,  suffix  of  the  collective  plural 
of  persons).  In  Arara:  Chipdy.  In  Cayapo:  No-iren  {Yuruna).  In 
Kuruaya:  Pardtvaivad  (Yuruna). 

Physically,  culturally,  and  linguistically,  the  Shipaya  are  the  closest 
relatives  of  the  Yuruna,  being  in  many  respects  indistinguishable. 

History,  territory,  and  number. — The  Shipaya  (lat.  5°  S.,  long.  55"  W.)  were 
first  made  known  to  civilization  by  the  Jesuit  priest,  Roque  Hundertpfund,  who  (in 
1750?)  went  up  the  Xingu  and  the  "River  of  the  Junmas"  (Iriri),  on  a  preaching 
tour  of  the  Curibary  {Curuaya)  and  Jacipoya  (Shipaya).  Whereas  the  Yuruna 
had  for  more  than  two  centuries  maintained  themselves  on  a  constant  defensive 
against  civilized  people,  the  Shipaya  had  until  after  1880  remained  quietly  in  their 
own  region  without  contacts  with  the  civilized  world.  Kletke  (1857),  Brusque,  and 
H.  Coudreau  mentioned  them,  but  did  not  visit  them.  The  first  scientist  to  have 
direct  and  lengthy  contact  with  them  was  Emilia  Snethlage,  in  1909,  and  especially 
in  1913.  In  the  latter  year  she  set  the  total  number  of  Shipaya  at  several  hundred, 
an  estimate  perhaps  too  high,  since  in  1918  only  about  80  individuals  were  left. 
Today  there  may  be  only  about  30,  scattered  in  Largo  do  Mutum  and  Pedra  do 
Cupim  on  the  lower  Iriri,  and,  mingled  with  a  few  remaining  Curuaya,  in  Gorgulho 
do  Barbado,  on  the  lower  Curua,  at  about  lat.  6°  30'  S. 

From  remote  times  the  Shipaya  inhabited  the  islands  of  the  Iriri  River,  from 
the  mouth  of  the  Curua  downstream.  They  never  settled  farther  up,  for  fear  of 
Cayapo  attacks.     Later,  about   1885,   the  Cayap6   forced  them  to   evacuate  their 


220  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

settlements  at  the  great  falls  of  the  Iriri,  between  lat.  4°  50'  and  5°  S.  and  to 
take  shelter  in  the  Curua,  settling  in  the  Gorgulho  do  Barbado,  which  they  only 
temporarily  abandoned  in  1913,  after  a  bloody  encounter  with  the  rubber  tappers. 
Since  then  they  have  always  been  divided  into  two  local  groups :  on  the  lower  Iriri 
and  on  the  Curua. 


This  tribe  is  only  known  through  information  given  by  other  Indians, 
as  it  became  extinct  before  direct  contact  with  civilized  people.  Prince 
Adalbert  von  Preussen  in  1843  heard  of  them  as  enemies  of  the  Yuruna. 
Brusque's  report  (1863)  refers  to  them  as  Urupaya,  and  devotes  a  small 
chapter  to  them,  which  I  quote  here,  since  it  is  the  only  literature  on  this 

This  is  a  relatively  numerous  tribe,  and  although  peaceable  and  relatively  free 
of  bad  habits,  it  is  extremely  distrustful  and  suspicious  in  its  relations  with  in- 
dividuals of  other  nations.  Its  habits  and  customs  are  the  same  as  those  of  the 
Tucunapeuas,  with  whom  they  have  close  bonds  of  friendship  and  trade.  Since 
the  Tucunapeuas  from  time  to  time  meet  the  caravans  which  go  up  the  Xingu 
River  in  search  of  natural  products,  it  is  they  who  obtain  from  these  caravans 
objects  which  they  trade  to  the  Urupayas  in  exchange  for  canoes,  cotton  thread, 
hammocks  and  chickens.  The  Tucunapeuas,  as  intermediates  in  this  trading,  charge 
their  neighbors  a  higher  price  for  the  objects  they  sell  them — ^principally  agricul- 
tural tools  and  beads  highly  prized  for  ornaments.  In  general  Indians  as  soon 
as  they  come  into  contact  with  civilized  man  and  learn  the  use  of  firearms,  do 
everything  in  their  power  to  get  hold  of  these.  The  Urupayas,  however,  although 
acquainted  with  firearms  through  the  Tucunapeuas,  are  so  terrified  by  them,  that 
they  will  not  go  near  an  armed  man.  They  preserve  a  tradition  from  generation 
to  generation  about  an  ancient  encounter  with  men  who  shot  at  them,  causing 
a  great  slaughter,  and  this  has  instilled  in  them  a  great  horror  for  firearms. 
They  inhabit  the  most  remote  islands  of  the  Xingu  that  anyone  knows  of.  They 
cultivate  manioc,  cotton,  and  urucu.  They  are  graceful,  have  beautiful  bodies, 
and  a  beautiful  color,  and  they  are  clever  and  industrious.  They  obey  a  "tuxaua" 
(chief)  called  Juacua.     [Brusque,  1863.] 

Since  at  that  time  the  Xingu  was  already  known  at  least  as  far  as  the 
outh  of  the  Fresco  River,  the  Ariipai  must  have  lived  still  farther  up. 
Approximately,  lat.  7°  S.,  long.  53°  W.)     Also  Shipaya  tradition  places 
.nem  on  the  Xingu,  just  above  the  Yuruna.     A  Shipaya  band,  which 
anciently  migrated  to  the  upper  Xingu,  fought  with  this  tribe.     Accord- 
ing to  another  tradition,  they  received  a  few  Shipaya  who  paid  them  a 
riendly  visit.     Finally,  during  a  feast,  they  were  taken  by  surprise  by 
.le  Yuruna.     The  men  were  killed  or  captured  to  be  eaten  afterward; 
^le  women  and  children  were  made  prisoners.     Some  escaped  upstream, 
alto  the  sertao,  and  were  never  heard  of  again.     The  tribe  no  longer 
jxisted  when  Von  den  Steinen  descended  the  Xingii  in  1884. 

The  name  Arupai  is  derived  from  Shipaya  "arupa"  or  "aguaye" 
(Eichhornia  sp.)  plus  "i,"  suffix  of  the    collective  plural  for  persons. 



Synonyms. — Kuruaya,  Caravare,  Curibary,  Curuari,  Curivere,  Curu- 
bare,  Curabare,  Curuahe,  Curierai,  Curuara,  Curuaye,  Curiuaye,  Curueye, 
Curiuaia,  and  Curuaya.  Self-designation:  Dyirimdin-id  (?).  In 
Shipaya,  Kiriwai  (kiri,  "parokeet,"  plus  wa,  "master,"  plus  "i,"  suffix  of 
the  collective  plural).  In  Yuruna,  Kiriwey  (idem).  In  Mundurucu, 
Huiaunyan;  Wiaunen,  linguistic  variant. 

History,  territory,  and  number. — Between  1682  and  1685,  the  "Cara- 
vares"  are  mentioned  for  the  first  time.  At  that  time  a  certain  Gon^alves 
Paes  de  Aran  jo,  who  lived  among  the  tribe,  went  up  the  Xingu  with  a 
few  Portuguese,  some  tame  Indians,  and  Caravare.  The  party  fell  into 
an  ambush  of  Yuruna  and  Tacunyape,  who  killed  one  Portuguese,  all  of 
the  tame  Indians,  and  30  Caravare.  The  latter,  "showing  an  insuperable 
courage  and  spirit  rarely  found  among  savages,"  managed  to  cover  the 
retreat  of  the  Portuguese  and  to  get  them  back  safely  to  their  own  lands, 
although  Gonqalves  Paes  was  severely  wounded.  Bettendorf  says  that  the 
"Curabares"  spoke  the  Lingua  Geral  and  had  20  villages  in  the  sertao. 
An  attempt  by  Father  Joao  Maria  Gersony  to  settle  them  down  on  the 
Xingu  (before  1688?)  failed  because  of  the  influence  of  a  Portuguese 
named  Manoel  Paes  (the  same  as  Gonial ves  Paes?),  who  employed  them 
in  the  extraction  of  cloves  (Dicypellium  caryophyllatum) .  After  Paes 
had  been  killed  by  the  Indians,  the  Curabare  offered  to  go  down  by  the 
Tapajoz  River.  This  seems  to  indicate  that  they  were  already  at  that 
time  established  between  the  Xingu  and  the  Tapajoz,  although  much 
farther  north  than  at  the  end  of  the  19th  century.  (Lat.  7°  S.,  long. 
55°  W.) 

Father  Roque  Hundertpfund  (about  1750)  went  up  the  Iriri  River  on  a  9-day 
preaching  tour  to  the  Curibary  (Curuaya)  and  Jacipoya  (Shipaya).  After  a  9-day 
journey  upstream,  the  priest  was  still  a  long  way  from  the  mouth  of  the  Curua 
River,  as  it  takes  18  days  of  rowing  to  get  to  the  Curua  from  the  Xingu.  This 
proves  again  that  the  Curuaya  formerly  lived  farther  to  the  north.  They  were 
mentioned  several  times  during  the  19th  century,  but  only  through  information 
given  by  the  Yuruna  and  the  Tacunyape.  According  to  H.  Coudreau,  who  had  no 
direct  contact  with  them,  the  tribe  in  1896  inhabited  the  forest  on  the  left  bank  (?) 
of  the  Curua  River.  The  traditions  of  the  tribe,  however,  only  mention  excur- 
sions to  the  west  of  the  Curua,  where  they  had  bloody  encounters  with  the  Karuziad 
(Mundurucii) .  The  so-called,  "Parintintin,"  who  until  1883  attacked  the  Neo- 
Brazilians  of  the  Jamaxim  River,  and  who  as  late  as  1895  went  through  the 
"seringaes"  of  the  Crepory  and  Caderiry  Rivers,  were  probably  none  other  than 
bands  of  Curuaya..  This  would  also  explain  their  having  objects  of  civilized 
origin  when  they  first  met  the  civilized  people  of  the  Iriri  and  Curua  Rivers. 
Beyond  a  doubt  they  themselves  consider  as  their  own  territory  the  tributaries  of 
the  right  bank  of  the  Curua  River  from  lat.  6°  30'  S.  to  8°  50'  S.  (the  bayous 
Curuazinho,  Bahu,  and  Flechas),  where  they  were  found  in  the  20th  century. 
When  the  Shipaya  fled  from  the  Cayapo  in  1885,  retreating  to  the  Curua  River, 
they  came  into  contact  with  them.  By  the  time  E.  Snethlage — the  only  scientist 
to  visit  them  in  their  own  territory — saw  them  in  1909  and  1913,  they  were  al- 

222  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

ready  restricted  to  the  Igarape  da  Flecha,  and  greatly  influenced  by  the  Shipaya. 
In  1913,  they  had  two  "malocas"  on  the  bank  of  the  Flecha;  a  third  maloca 
12  km.  away  from  the  bayou,  on  the  west  side;  and  numbered  about  ISO.  In 
1919,  they  numbered  about  120  and  inhabited,  in  small  groups  of  one  to  four  houses, 
the  tributaries  of  the  left  bank  of  the  upper  Igarape  da  Flecha,  at  lat.  8°  30'  S. 
About  a  dozen  of  them  lived  among  the  Shipaya  on  the  lower  Iriri,  and  scattered 
among  Neo-Brazilians.  Up  to  this  time  the  Cayapd  had  respected  the  Curuaya 
territory,  but  from  1918  on  they  began  to  extend  their  incursions  to  the  Curua 
River,  and  in  1934  they  attacked  and  scattered  the  Curuaya.  The  largest  group 
of  the  Curuaya  took  the  road  from  the  mouth  of  the  Riozinho  do  Iriri  to  the 
Tapajoz ;  other  groups  scattered  along  the  middle  Iriri.  The  remainder,  except 
for  a  few  who  stayed  on  the  Iriri,  live  together  with  the  last  of  the  Shipaya 
near  "Gorgulho  do  Barbado"  on  the  lower  Curua.  In  all,  there  are  perhaps  less 
than  30  of  them. 


Synonyms. — Taconhape,  Tacoyape,  Taguanhape,  Tacuanape,  Tacun- 
hape,  Taconhape,  Taconhapez,  Tucunapeua,  Peua.  From  the  Tupi, 
takiinya,  "penis,"  plus  "pe,"  pewa,  "small  and  flat."  In  Yuruna,  Tacun- 
yape.    In  Shipaya,  Tacunyape.    In  Kuruaya,  Eidum,  "honey-eater"  (eid). 

History,  territory,  and  number. — In  the  second  half  of  the  17th  century,  the  west 
bank  of  the  Xingu  above  Volta  Grande  was  known  as  the  "side  of  the  Jurunas," 
and  the  Iriri  as  "River  of  the  Jurunas,"  while  the  east  bank  was  known  as  the 
"side  of  the  Taconhapes."  (Lat.  4°  S.,  long.  53°  W.)  The  "River  of  the 
Taconhapes"  was  probably  the  present  Pacaja,  a  tributary  of  the  Xingu. 

In  1662-63,  the  Jesuits  first  tried  to  catechize  the  Tacunyape,  but  three-fourths 
of  the  Indians  who  had  already  descended  the  river  returned  to  the  sertao,  be- 
cause the  agreement  made  with  them  had  not  been  kept.  In  1667,  again  a  number 
of  Yuruna  and  Tacunyape  were  taken  down  to  the  Veiros  mission,  but  these, 
too,  soon  fled  back  to  their  own  lands.  The  third  attempt  was  made,  shortly  after- 
ward, it  seems,  by  Father  Pedro  Poderoso.  He  traveled  up  the  Xingu  for  15  days, 
and,  having  passed  the  painted  stones  (of  Itamaraca  Falls),  he  arrived  at 
the  landing  place  and  village  of  the  Tacunyape,  where  he  was  well  received.  The 
Indians  who  had  already  been  taken  downstream  the  first  time  refused  to  listen  to 
any  arguments,  but  many  of  the  others  followed  the  priest.  Having  been  ill- 
treated  by  the  captain-general  of  Gurupa,  however,  they  returned  to  the  sertao 
and  never  turned  up  again.  When,  in  1682,  Father  Antonio  da  Silva  went  to  the 
"River  of  Taconhapes"  in  order  to  bring  down  the  tribe  of  Aracaju,  he  made  no 
mention  of  the  Tacunyape. 

In  1685,  they  joined  with  the  Yuruna  in  the  attack  against  Gongalves  Paes  and  his 
Curuaya,  as  well  as  in  the  subsequent  revolt.  Father  Samuel  Fritz's  map  (1691) 
places  the  Tacunyape  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Xingu,  below  the  "Pacaya  River," 
under  lat.  3°  S.  In  1692,  Father  Jose  Maria  Gersony  once  more  succeeded  in  gather- 
ing together  a  large  number  of  Indians  of  various  tribes  in  Veiros,  but,  again, 
the  intervention  of  the  captain-general  of  Gurupa  destroyed  the  project,  transferring 
the  Indians  to  Maturu  (Porto  de  Moz)  and  other  places. 

In  the  18th  century,  the  Jesuits  succeeded  in  settling  Yuruna  and  Tacunyape  in 
the  Tacuana  (Tauaquera)  mission,  a  little  above  present-day  Altamira,  and  in 
1762  and  1784  the  Tacunyape  are  mentioned  as  among  the  Indians  settled  at  Portel. 

That  part  of  the  tribe  which  succeeded  in  keeping  its  independence  seems  to 
have  retreated  to  the  middle  of  the  Curua  region;  that  would  also  explain  their 
friendship  with  the  Curuaya.    Shipaya  tradition  says  that  the   Tacunyape   joined 


them  on  the  Iriri,  having  come  from  the  upper  Curua,  and  settled  near  them,  on 
an  island  a  little  below  the  mouth  of  the  Rio  Novo.  Trouble  with  the  CayapS 
obliged  them  to  return  to  their  former  settlement  on  the  Xingu.  There  they  were 
defeated  in  1842  by  the  Yuruna,  losing  10  men.  A  year  later  Prince  Adalbert  found 
their  village,  one  day's  journey  above  Tacuana,  abandoned,  and  was  unable  to  find 
where  the  tribe  had  taken  refuge.  In  1859,  the  Tacunyape  reappeared  in  large 
numbers  (500?),  and  the  Government  of  Para  decided  to  settle  them  in  a  new 
mission,  which  was  kept  up  for  some  15  to  20  years.  In  1863,  the  fevers  preva- 
lent on  the  Xingu  had  reduced  them  to  150.  In  1884,  Von  den  Steinen  found  70 
individuals,  living  on  an  island  at  lat.  3°  30'  S.,  and  the  rest  of  the  tribe  in  that 
region  became  extinct  within  the  next  15  years.  In  1894,  H.  Coudreau  still  found 
about  40,  but  that  year  the  smallpox  decimated  them,  and  by  the  end  of  the  century 
the  rest  had  succumbed  to  measles  and  catarrh.  In  1919,  the  writer  became 
acquainted  with  a  single  survivor,  who,  reared  among  the  Shipaya,  had  never  learned 
the  language  of  his  tribe. 

The  Tacunyape  became  extinct  without  ever  having  been  studied.  We  have 
merely  scattered  references  to  them  in  the  writings  of  missionaries  and  of  trav- 
elers who  never  stayed  among  them. 

Character. — The  Tacunyape  were  considered  the  most  tractable  Indians  of  the 
entire  region.  They  received  the  Jesuits  courteously;  the  chiefs  and  people  went 
out  to  meet  them  and  made  them  sit  in  beautiful  hammocks.  They  were  indus- 
trious, honest,  and  intelligent.  It  is  noteworthy  that,  while  other  tribes  were  con- 
tinually at  war  one  with  another,  the  Tacunyape  were  permanently  at  peace  with 
the  Curuaya,  Shipaya,  Arupai,  and  Arara. 


Synonyms. — Apeiaca,  Apiacd,  Apingui,  Pariri.  Self-designation: 
Opinadkom,  Opinadkom  (?).  In  Yuruna  and  Shipaya,  Asipd  ("prop" 
or  "support,"  on  account  of  their  tattooing  design).  In  Curuaya,  I-ami- 
tug  (i,  "their,"  plus  ambi,  "upper  lip,"  plus  tug,  "pierced").  In  Cayapo, 
Kube-nyde  (kube,  "Indian,"  plus  nyoe,  "woodpecker  [?]"). 

History,  territory,  and  number. — In  1853,  there  appeared  for  the  first  time  on 
the  lower  Xingu  an  unknown  wandering  tribe  which  the  Neo-Brazilians  henceforth 
called  Arara,  no  one  knows  why.  Ehrenreich  without  further  proof  considered 
them  identical  with  their  namesakes  in  the  Madeira  region,  and  even  with  the 
Yuma,  remnants  of  which  tribe  still  inhabit  the  headwaters  of  the  Parana-pixuna, 
tributary  of  the  right  bank  of  the  Puriis,  at  lat.  7°  S. 

The  Yuruna  informed  me  that  these  Indians  formerly  lived  in  a  bayou,  a  tribu- 
tary of  the  right  bank  of  the  Xingu,  at  the  height  of  Carreira  Comprida,  perhaps 
the  present-day  Igarape  da  Fortaleza  (lat.  7°  30'  S.).  From  there  they  had  been 
dislodged  by  the  Cayapo.  The  latter,  not  the  Suyd,  are  the  "Autikas"  to  whom 
the  Arara  make  reference. 

In  1861  and  1862,  these  Arara  of  the  Xingu  descended  below  Volta  Grande, 
where  they  were  in  peaceful  contact  with  rubber  tappers  for  some  time. 
At  that  time  they  numbered  343,  not  counting  children.  In  December  1862,  they 
made  a  surprise  attack  upon  the  crews  of  two  canoes  of  Yuruna,  their  capital 
enemies,  killing  two  and  wounding  others.     A  short  time  later  they  disappeared. 

In  1884,  Von  den  Steinen  saw  a  captive  of  this  tribe  among  the  Yuruna  of 
the  fifth  village.  At  this  time  the  Arara  lived  in  the  lands  to  the  west  of  the 
Xingu,  from  the  mouth  of  the  Iriri  down.  The  inhabitants  of  one  Arara  village, 
who  had  lived  for  a  short  time  with  their  friends,  the  Tacunyape,  had  died  off. 

224  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

In  1894,  H.  Coudreau,  too,  was  unable  to  find  the  tribe.  About  this  time  the 
Arara  disappeared  from  the  left  bank  of  the  Xingu,  and  gathered  at  the  head- 
waters of  the  Curuatinga,  main  branch  of  the  Curua  River,  which  flows  into  the 
Amazon  above  Santarem,  where  they  were  cruelly  persecuted  by  rubber  tappers. 
Perhaps  because  of  these  persecutions,  they  began  to  work  away  from  the  left  bank 
of  the  lower  Iriri.  In  1897  they  killed  six  rubber  tappers  in  Nazareth,  thereafter 
disappearing  from  that  bank  for  good.  In  1914  there  was  still  a  dwelling  with 
a  small  clearing  of  theirs  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Curuatinga.  The  relations 
between  these  Arara  and  the  Shipaya  were  usually  bad,  with  bloody  fights  and 
kidnapping  of  each  other's  children. 

A  short  time  afterward  the  few  surviving  Arara  moved  upstream  on  the  Iriri, 
toward  the  lands  on  the  left  bank.  In  1917  they  vainly  tried  to  make  peace  with 
the  rubber  tappers  a  little  above  Sao  Francisco.  In  1918  vestiges  of  these  Arara 
were  seen  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Curua  do  Iriri,  at  lat.  7°  30'  S.,  after  which 
no  more  was  heard  of  them. 

Another  band  of  Arara,  which  numbered  about  30  in  1917,  settled  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  Pacaja  do  Xingu  River,  at  lat.  3°  40'  S.  They  worked  for  Neo- 
Brazilians  of  the  Pacaja  River,  who  also  used  them  in  warring  against  the  Asurini, 
as  happened  twice  about  1922.  There  may  possibly  be  some  isolated  survivor  of 
this  group.  There  probably  is  still  a  small  group  of  Arara  on  the  upper  Anapii, 
whose  upper  course  approaches  the  Pacaja  do  Xingu. 

Western  Arara.— In  1869,  the  first  bands  of  this  tribe,  numbering 
about  500  persons,  appeared  peaceably  on  the  western  bank  of  the  lower 
Tocantins,  lat.  3°  S.,  and  were  followed  by  other  smaller  groups.  They 
seemed  to  live  to  the  west  of  the  Trocara  Mountains.  "Authorities" 
identified  them  as  Miranya  or  Apiacd.  In  1873,  Bishop  D.  Macedo  Costa 
took  some  of  them  to  the  capital.  In  1889,  Ehrenreich  observed  some 
of  the  survivors  who  were  scattered  through  the  settlements  along  the  left 
bank  of  the  Tocantins,  almost  as  far  as  Cameta.  In  1896,  Ignacio  Moura 
mentions  a  Captain  Peter  of  this  tribe,  with  his  family,  who  served  as  a 
guide  in  official  prosecutions  of  hostile  Indians.  He  is  probably  the  same 
man  H.  Coudreati  saw  the  following-  year,  who  lived  with  from  12  to  15 
individuals  in  the  Igarape  Ararinha,  a  little  below  Breu  Branco. 
Coudreau  calls  these  Indians  Anembe,  but  the  tattoo  he  describes  and 
the  name  of  the  chief  make  it  seem  probable  that  they  were  Arara.  To- 
day none  are  left. 

In  1910  or  1911,  another  band  of  Arara  Indians  appeared  under  the 
name  Pariri.  They  were  fleeing  from  the  Paracana,  a  tribe  probably  of 
Tupi  speech  living  between  the  tributaries  of  the  Tocantins  and  the 
Pacaja  de  Portel,  from  Cachoeira  Grande  on  upstream.  The  Pariri  had 
settled  on  the  Iriuana,  a  tributary  of  the  left  bank  of  the  Pacaja  de  Portel. 
As  the  Paracana  attacks  did  not  let  up,  the  rest  of  the  tribe  was  o.bliged 
to  take  refuge  with  the  Neo-Brazilians  of  the  region.  In  1926  there  were 
still  a  half  dozen  of  them ;  in  1932,  there  remained  only  a  boy  and  a  girl 
in  the  last  stages  of  tuberculosis. 

There  is  probably  still  another  band  of  Arara  on  the  Pacajahy  River, 
tributary  of  the  left  bank  of  the  upper  Pacaja  de  Portel.     The  Pariri  ■ 


called  them  Timirem  or  Cimirem  (red).  In  1913  or  a  little  earlier,  they 
came  into  brief  contact  with  some  rubber  tappers,  after  which  nothing 
more  was  ever  heard  of  them. 


Synonyms. — Asurini  (from  the  Yuruna,  asoneri,  "red"),  Assurini, 
Assurinikin.  In  Yuruna,  Surini.  In  Shipaya,  Adyi  kaporuri-ri  (adyi, 
"savage,"  plus  kaporuri,  "red,"  kaporuri-ri,  "very  red").  In  Curuaya, 
Nupdnu-pag  (nupanu,  "Indian,"  plus  pag,  "red").  In  Arara,  Nerimd 
(?).  In  Cayapo,  Kube-kamreg-ti  (kube,  "Indian,"  plus  kamreg,  "red," 
plus  ti,  "augmentative"). 

Territory,  history,  and  number. — The  Asurini  appear  for  the  first  time  in  1894, 
when  they  attacked  a  Neo-Brazilian  at  Praia  Grande,  above  the  mouth  of  the 
Pacaja  do  Xingu.  In  1896  they  twice  attacked  passing  canoes  in  Passahy  (lat. 
3°  40'  S.)  and  again  at  Praia  Grande.  In  that  year  an  armed  band  of  30,  among 
them  the  Tacunyape  chief,  Ambrosio,  pursued  the  attackers,  but  did  not  dare  to 
attack  their  village.  Not  long  after  this  event  Ambrosio  was  killed  and  torn  to 
pieces  by  the  Asurini.  By  that  time  they  were  known  to  have  settled  between  the 
Xingu  and  its  tributary,  the  Pacaja.  Toward  the  south  they  reached  the  boundary 
of  Morro  Grande  (lat.  5°  S.),  with  their  principal  village  in  the  Igarape  Ipixuna  (lat. 
4°  40'  S.),  5  days  above  its  mouth.  From  then  till  the  present,  the  Asurini  have 
remained  absolutely  inacessible,  almost  annually  attacking  whatever  rubber  tappers 
venture  into  their  territory.  By  1917  their  attacks  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Xingu 
had  almost  completely  ceased,  but  their  hostilities  against  the  civilized  population 
of  the  Pacaja  had  increased.  About  1922,  the  latter  twice  furnished  the 
Arara  with  arms  and  munitions  for  a  war  of  extermination  against  the  Asurini, 
but  with  doubtful  success.  At  least  part  of  the  Assurini  remained  at  the  head- 
waters of  the  Branco  River,  tributary  of  the  left  bank  of  the  Pacaja  (lat.  4°  S., 
more  or  less),  and  in  1932  they  killed  a  Neo-Brazilian  well  beyond  the  former 
limits  of  their  territory,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Igarape  de  Bom  Jarbim  (lat.  5°  30'  S.). 

In  1936,  the  Gorotire-Cayapo,  in  their  northward  expansion,  attacked  and  de- 
feated the  Asurini,  as  proved  by  the  great  number  of  Asurini  arrows  and  orna- 
ments in  their  possession  when,  a  year  later,  they  made  peace  with  the  Neo- 
Brazilians.  Survivors  probably  still  exist  today  between  the  Xingu  and  Pacaja 
and  preserve  their  hostile  attitude.  The  truth  of  the  matter  is  that  until  today 
no  one  has  tried  to  pacify  them. 

H.  Coudreau  learned  that  the  Asurini  were  known  as  "Deer  Indians"  on  the 
Tocantins,  where  they  were  peaceable,  whereas  those  on  the  Xingu  were  hostile. 
However,  nobody  ever  heard  of  a  tribe  of  that  name  on  the  Tocantins — not  even 
Coudreau  himself,  when  surveying  that  river  in  1897.  The  erroneously  named 
"Asurini"  of  the  lower  Tocantins  are  Paracana,  who,  since  about  1926,  have  plagued 
Neo-Brazilians  on  the  left  bank,  between  lat.  3°  S.  and  3°  40'  S.  Father  VVilhelm 
Schmidt's  guess  that  they  are  a  Carajd  .yubtribe  is  inadmissible. 



In  clearings  along  the  river,  the  Yuruna  and  Shipaya  raised  manioc, 
maize,  potatoes,  cara,  bananas,  sugarcane,  cotton,  pepper,  tobacco,  gourds. 

226  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

urucu,  and  genipa.  From  the  manioc  they  made  fermented  flour  toasted 
in  clay  ovens  set  on  three  stones.  According  to  Emilia  Snethlage,  the 
Curuaya  cultivated  chiefly  bananas,  manioc,  and  other  tubers  in  clearings 
hidden  in  the  forest  far  from  their  homes.  When  visiting  the  TacunyapS, 
Father  Pedro  Poderoso  was  given  roasted  ears  of  maize,  Brazil  nuts,  and 
cakes  of  pounded  maize  which  had  been  wrapped  in  leaves  and  cooked 
under  hot  ashes.  The  Tacunyape  cultivated  manioc  and  cotton.  The 
Asurini  also  were  farmers. 

The  Arara  were  less  clearly  horticultural.  After  their  defeat  and  dis- 
persal by  the  Cayapo,  they  became  nomadic  for  some  time,  with  unfavorable 
consequences  to  their  material  culture,  which  originally  may  well  have 
been  of  a  higher  type  before  contact  with  Neo-Brazilians.  When  the 
Arara  first  appeared  on  the  Tocantins  River,  turtles  formed  their  only 
medium  of  exchange;  Neo-Brazilians,  therefore,  deny  that  they  had  any 
knowledge  of  farming.  Perhaps  some  of  the  bands  had  really  given  up 
planting  altogether,  but  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Curua  do  Norte  was 
found  one  of  their  farm  clearings;  moreover,  they  owned  objects  made 
of  cotton  and,  like  their  congeners  both  north  and  south  of  the  Amazon, 
they  had  words  for  "maize,"  "tobacco,"  "potatoes,"  "manioc,"  and  "beiju." 

Hunting  and  gathering  were  more  important  to  the  Curuaya  than  to  the 
Shipaya  but  fishing  was  less  important.  The  Curuaya  fished  with  a  drug 
made  from  a  liana.  The  Yuruna,  though  expert  canoemen,  did  little  fishing 
and,  dreading  to  go  inland,  did  little  hunting.  The  Shipaya  say  that  10-  or 
12-year  old  Tacunyape  boys  were  expert  hunters,  never  in  danger  of 
becoming  lost  in  the  forest. 

Caimans  and  turtles  were  major  foods  of  the  Curuaya.  For  the  Yuruna, 
"tracajas"  (a  turtle  species)  and  their  eggs,  even  when  containing  em- 
bryos, were  an  important  food.  Other  foods  included  various  wild  roots 
and  Brazil  nuts  (Bertholletia  excelsa).  The  Yuruna  also  collected  the 
"uauagu"  nut  {Orbignya  speciosa).  The  Curuaya  had  great  skill  in  ob- 
taining wild  honey. 

The  Yuruna  and  Shipaya  cooked  in  pots  set  on  three  stones  over  the 
fire.  They  cooked  fish  without  first  cleaning  it.  Utensils  included  pots, 
gourds,  cylindrical  wooden  mortars,  which  sometimes  had  a  separate  conic- 
al base,  a  pestle  with  a  head  on  each  end,  large  canoe-shaped  wooden 
vessels,  and  spatulate  bases  of  "anaja"  palm  leaves  {Maximiliana 
regia)  used  as  basins.  They  ate  together,  everyone  sitting  around  the 
gourd  which  held  manioc  flour  and  the  pot  in  which  fish,  hot  with  pepper, 
had  been  cooked. 

The  only  domesticated  animals  possessed  by  the  Yuruna  were  dogs 
and  chickens.  In  Von  den  Steinen's  time,  1884,  they  were  not  yet  in 
the  habit  of  eating  either  chickens  or  eggs.  In  their  huts  the  Yuruna 
kept  a  great  number  of  wild  fowls  and  animals. 



Constant  fear  of  being  attacked  by  the  Cayapo  and  other  hostile  tribes 
forced  the  Yuruna  to  build  their  dwellings  almost  exclusively  on  the  rocky 
islets  of  the  rapids,  where  they  were  safe  from  the  Cayapo,  who  had  no 
skill  in  handling  canoes.  In  1843,  the  largest  Yuruna  village  consisted 
of  six  dwellings.  In  1884,  the  seven  different  villages  had  eight,  two, 
seven,  three,  one,  three,  and  two  dwellings,  respectively.  The  Shipaya 
had  an  even  stronger  tendency  to  isolate  their  dwellings  and,  although 
houses  were  sometimes  quite  near  one  another,  more  than  two  were 
never  built  in  the  same  place.  The  Shipaya  of  the  Curua  River  inhabited 
the  right  bank,  which  up  to  1918  had  not  yet  been  invaded  by  the  Cayapo. 
On  the  Iriri  River  their  houses  were  mostly  built  on  the  rocky  islands 
among  the  rapids  and  only  exceptionally  on  the  solid  ground  of  the  left 
bank,  which  was  less  exposed  to  Cayapo  attacks  than  the  right  bank.  The 
Tacunyape  seem  originally  to  have  been  a  forest-  not  a  river-dwelling 
people,  but  after  their  return  from  the  Iriri  to  the  Xingu  River  they,  like 
the  Yuruna,  Shipaya,  and  Arupai,  began  to  live  on  the  islands.  The 
Curuaya  of  the  17th  century  were  known  as  forest  dwellers.  In  contrast 
to  the  Yuruna  and  Shipaya,  genuine  boatmen  who  never  strayed  far  from 
the  islands  and  banks  of  the  Xingii  and  Iriri  Rivers,  the  Curuaya  avoided 
the  banks  of  the  large  rivers.  The  central  maloca  visited  by  Emilia 
Snethlage  in  1913  consisted  of  five  houses,  grouped  irregularly  around  an 
open  yard. 

The  typical  Asurini  house  was  a  long,  rectangular,  tent-shaped  structure 
without  side  walls ;  one  found  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Branco  River  was 
180  palmos,  i.e.,  128  feet  (39.4  m.)  in  length. 

The  Yuruna  had  two  principal  types  of  dwellings.  One  type  had  a 
rectangular  or  square  gable  roof,  the  rafters  being  set  right  on  the  ground 
and  curved  toward  the  top.  Details  are  lacking.  The  other  type  was  a  rec- 
tangular hut,  the  roof  of  which  came  close  to  the  ground,  with  ridge 
pole  and  perpendicular  walls.  The  first  of  these  dwellings  was  probably 
the  original  type.  The  roof  was  well-made  with  "uauagu"  or  "anaja"  palm 
grass.  The  largest  house  visited  by  Von  den  Steinen  measured  24  by 
24  m.  (78  by  78  ft.),  and  6  m.  (20  ft.)  in  height;  others  were  only  2  by 
4  m.  (63^  by  13  ft.).  Inside  there  was  always  a  sort  of  loft,  formed  by 
a  scaffolding  of  poles,  to  store  food  supplies,  weapons,  and  utensils.  Some- 
times this  scaffolding  hung  from  the  roof. 

Shipaya  dwellings  were  similar  to  those  of  the  Yuruna.  In  1913, 
Snethlage  found  the  remains  of  a  big,  oval-shaped  "maloca."  The  Tacun- 
yape house  Von  den  Steinen  saw  in  1884  was  "in  Yuruna  style."  The 
original  Curuaya  house  seems  to  have  been  elliptical,  with  a  row  of  cen- 
tral posts  and  two  lateral  rows  on  either  side,  decreasing  in  height.  There 
seems  not  to  have  been  any  space  between  the  walls  and  roof ;  flexible 
rafters  covered  with  straw  gave  the  houses  the  look  of  "long  hayricks 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

rounded  at  the  top,"  in  Snethlage's  description.    At  each  end  was  a  doot 
closed  with  a  rush  mat. 

Yurana,  Shipaya,  and  Asurini  household  furniture  consisted  of  benches 
cut  out  of  one  piece  of  wood  (fig.  25),  with  a  circular  or  oval  seat  and 
two  sides  forming  legs,  mats  woven  of  palm  leaves,  baskets  with  oval 

Figure  25. — Yuruna  wooden  stool.    (Drawn  from  specimens,  Museu  Paraense  Emilio 

Goeldi,  Belem.) 

lids  made  of  "uauagu"  fiber,  and  cotton  hammocks  in  which  the  Indians 
slept  at  night  and  sat  during  the  day.  The  Arara  north  of  the  middle 
Iriri  River  in  1917  made  palm-fiber  hammocks.  Ciiruaya  dwellings  were 
not  very  clean,  and  all  their  utensils  were  dirty  and  carelessly  made.  Their 
hammocks  were  small  and  made  of  palm  fibers ;  the  technique  used  is  not 
known,  but  they  were  not  woven.  Their  benches  were  crudely  made 
and  painted.  Prince  Adalbert  speaks  highly  of  the  order  and  cleanliness 
of  Yuruna  dwellings. 


When  still  entirely  free,  Arara  men  and  women  were  completely 
naked.  In  1913,  the  Curuaya  of  the  central  malocas  still  were  naked, 
but  those  of  the  river  malocas  dressed  like  the  Shipaya,  that  is,  men  wore 
a  belt  of  glass  beads  and  covered  the  prepuce  with  a  straw  sheath,  while 
women  wore  a  woven  loincloth.  Yuruna  and  Shipaya  women  wrapped 
lengths  of  woven  gray  cloth  around  their  waists ;  these  were  open  on  one 
side  and  reached  almost  to  their  ankles.  Von  den  Steinen's  prints  show 
some  women  also  wearing  a  kind  of  cape  with  wide  stripes,  apparently 
made  the  same  way.  Besides  a  belt,  which  seems  originally  to  have  been 
of  cotton,  men  wore  only  the  truncate  cone  of  dry  "uauagu"  fiber  of  the 
Cayapo  and  Bororo  type  which  covers  the  male  organs.  This  was  the 
Yuruna  style  in  1884;  12  years  later,  their  dress  was  more  or  less  Neo- 
Brazilian  (Coudreau,  H,  1897  c).  Tacunyape  women  in  1884  were 
wearing  aprons  of  material  bought  from  civilized  people. 

Yuruna,  Shipaya,  and  Curuaya  men's  hair  hung  loose  almost  to  their 
waist,  except  when  women  parted  it  for  them,  making  a  pigtail  which 
they  tied  with  a  gray  twist  of  fibers.  On  their  foreheads,  where  the 
hair-part  started,  there  was  a  small  circular  red  spot  made  with  the  pollen 


of  sororoca  (Ravenala  guianensis).  The  Curuaya  often  wore  bangs. 
The  women  also  parted  their  hair  in  the  middle,  allowing  it  to  hang  loose 
behind  or  tying  it  in  a  loose  knot.  The  Arara  wore  their  hair,  which 
was  brown  and  wavy,  long  behind ;  women's  braids  often  reached  their 
knees.  The  Asurini  cut  their  hair  ear-length.  These  tribes  combed  their 
hair  with  small  one-sided  combs  made  from  stems. 

The  Yuruna  made  beautiful  headdresses  of  green  feathers  and  diadems 
of  parrot  and  macaw  feathers  covered  with  small  black  feathers  at  the 
base.  The  feathers  were  fastened  between  two  bamboo  hoops  held  to- 
gether by  an  elastic  net  about  an  inch  wide.  The  Shipaya  and  Curuaya 
made  men's  diadems  of  cotton  ribbons  with  feathers,  sometimes  fastened 
to  straw  hoops;  those  of  braided  straw  in  the  shape  of  a  hat  brim  with 
a  tail  of  feathers  or  straw  were  used  by  both  sexes.  The  Gorotire-Cayapo, 
a  Ge  tribe  (Handbook,  vol.  1)  were  found  to  have  feather  ornaments 
taken  from  the  Asurini:  beautiful  diadems  made  of  various  overlapping 
tiers  of  feathers  mounted  on  cotton  ribbons. 

Yuruna  men  wore  cotton  bands  2  to  2}^  inches  (5  to  6  cm.)  wide 
around  their  upper  arms  and  ankles ;  these  were  crocheted  on  by  women. 
At  festivals,  the  anklets  were  often  of  beads.  Narrower  bands  were  also 
worn  by  men  just  below  the  knees.  Boys  and  men  wore  a  very  tight 
beaded  belt,  preferably  blue,  from  4  to  6  inches  (10  to  16  cm.)  wide.  Both 
sexes  from  early  childhood  wore  strings  of  heavy  beads  around  their 
necks  and  bandoleer-style,  crossing  in  front  and  behind.  Necklaces  were 
made  of  worked  peccary  teeth.  The  Shipaya  and  Curuaya  made  similar 
bead  ornaments,  but  showed  more  artistry  in  embroidering  armbands  and 
forehead  bands  with  beads.  In  1913,  the  Curuaya,  owing  to  their  rel- 
ative isolation,  still  wore  more  seed  and  nut  than  bead  necklaces. 

Arara  ornaments  in  the  museum  at  Para  include:  A  diadem  of  parrot 
and  japu  feathers,  the  base  of  which  is  covered  with  small  feathers;  a 
braided  cotton  forehead  band  with  small  red  feathers  ending  in  two 
long  strings ;  necklaces  of  black  seeds  and  bones ;  a  pair  of  cotton  arm 
bands ;  a  pair  of  bracelets  of  armadillo  tail ;  and  a  necklace  of  armadillo 

The  Yuruna  and  Tacunyape  anointed  their  bodies  with  a  vegetable  oil 
for  protection  against  mosquitoes.  They  kept  the  oil  in  small  round 
gourds  decorated  with  painted  or  engraved  maze  designs.  Asurini  war- 
riors stain  their  bodies  with  urucu,  whence  their  tribal  name.  The 
Yuruna,  Arara,  Pariri,  and  Shipaya,  but  not  the  Curuaya,  tattooed 
the  face.  Until  1843  one  could  observe  the  characteristic  Yuruna  tattoo- 
ing to  which  this  tribe  owed  its  name  in  the  Lingua  Geral.  Both  men 
and  women  made  a  black,  vertical  line  down  the  middle  of  the  face,  from 
the  roots  of  the  hair  to  the  chin,  and  running  around  the  mouth.  This 
tattooing  was  made  by  incising  with  animal  teeth  and  rubbing  in  genipa 
stain,  the  person's  social  importance  being  indicated  by  the  width  of  the 

230  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

Stripe.  According  to  Andre  de  Barros,  the  chiefs'  faces  were  all  black ; 
Mello  Moraes  says  that  the  "most  distinguished"  persons  generally  had 
three  stripes,  the  lateral  ones  being  narrower.  The  width  of  the  middle 
stripe  is  given  as  from  1^  to  2^  inches  (3.8  to  7  cm.)  by  various  authors. 
The  tattooing  was  usually  done  in  childhood.  The  Shipaya  had  ceased  to 
tattoo  before  permanent  contact  with  Neo-Brazilians.  The  Arara  tattooed 
at  puberty  with  genipa,  making  two  vertical  lines  from  the  eye  down  to  the 
curve  of  the  lower  jaw.    The  Pariri  tattooed  with  charcoal  of  rubber. 

Yuruna  men  and  Shipaya  and  Curuaya  men  and  women  pierced  their 
ear  lobes.  Ordinarily,  they  wore  nothing  in  their  ears  but  for  festivals 
they  inserted  a  long  red  macaw  tail  feather,  with  small  feathers  hanging 
from  its  point  and  surrounding  the  base.  These  feathers  were  kept  in 
tubes  trimmed  with  small  "mutum"  feathers.  The  Arara  pierced  the 
nasal  septum  as  well  as  the  earlobe.  Curuaya  women  wore  a  stone  tembeta 
in  the  lower  lip. 


The  Yuruna  and  Shipaya  "uba"  canoes  are  well  adapted  to  the  rough 
water  of  the  rapids.  They  are  made  of  hewn  cedar  logs,  usually  hollowed 
out  by  means  of  fire.  The  cross  section  is  U-shaped,  and  there  is  a  sort  of 
rectangular  platform  at  bow  and  stern.  Von  den  Steinen  gives  the  follow- 
ing dimensions  of  a  Yuruna  canoe:  Length,  30  feet  (10.6  m.) ;  maximum 
width,  3  feet  (95  cm.)  ;  depth,  1^4  feet  (39  cm.)  ;  thickness,  1  inch  (25 
mm.)  ;  platform  at  the  bow,  1  foot  10  inches  by  1  foot  5  inches  (57  by 
44  cm.)  ;  platform  at  the  stern,  3^4  by  3  feet  (1  by  0.9  m.).  (Steinen  got 
the  measurements  of  the  platforms  reversed ! ) .  These  canoes  can  easily 
carry  10  people  without  baggage.  They  usually  have  an  awning  of  rush 
mats  from  the  middle  to  the  rear,  fastened  to  arched  poles.  The  boats  are 
punted  by  means  of  poles  and  steered  by  a  paddle  about  4^  feet  (1.45  m.) 
long.  The  handle  of  the  paddle,  which  ends  in  a  somewhat  convex  cross 
bar,  measures  2  feet  (62  cm.)  ;  the  blade  widens  toward  the  blunt  end,  and 
sometimes  bears  the  painted  maze  design. 

It  seems  established  that  the  Arara  had  no  form  of  canoe  when  first  met. 
They  lived  on  and  roamed  over  dry  land,  only  exceptionally  appearing  on 
the  banks  of  the  great  rivers.  The  Asurini  also  lacked  canoes.  The 
Curuaya,  living  in  the  heart  of  the  forests,  paid  little  attention  to  boating. 
Their  original  canoe  was  made  of  jutahy  bark.  Later,  they  made  this 
type  only  in  emergency  and  constructed  crude  imitations  of  the  Shipaya 

Among  devices  for  land  transportation,  the  Museum  at  Para  has  an 
Arara  carrying  bag  of  interlaced  cords  made  of  palm  fibers. 


Weaving. — Since  the  Jesuit  period,  Yuruna  women  have  been  famous 
for  their  skill  in  spinning  cotton  "as  fine  as  hair."    They  wove  hammocks 


on  bamboo  frames,  measuring  6}^  by  9}i  feet  (2  by  3  m.).  Two  threads 
guided  by  a  little  piece  of  wood  were  passed  horizontally  through  the 
vertical  threads  of  the  warp ;  the  weaving  technique  is  not  clearly  described 
but  the  product  was  unquestionably  cloth.  In  order  to  tighten  or  separate 
the  horizontal  threads,  they  used  a  small  toothed  wooden  instrument. 

Pottery. — Yuruna  pottery  was  simple  (fig.  26,  b,  d),  without  painted 
or  plastic  decorations,  except  for  the  occasional  addition  of  two  small 
excrescences  on  diametrically  opposite  sides  of  the  vessel  edge.  The 
principal  form,  used  to  hold  water  and  fermented  drinks,  is  a  round  jar 
with  a  short  neck.    Shipaya  ceramics  are  coarser  than  those  of  the  Yuruna. 

Figure  26. — Pottery  from  the  lower  Xingii.  a,  Arara;  h,  d,  Yuruna;  c,  Curuaya. 
(All  2/9  actual  size.)  (Drawn  from  specimens,  Museu  Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi, 
Belem,  and  Nimuendaju  and  Snethlage  collections.) 

Huge  vessels  2^  feet  (69  cm.)  in  diameter  and  equally  high  are  used  for 
fermented  drinks.  Exceptional  pots  were  painted  inside  and  outside. 
Curuaya  pots  resemble  those  of  neighboring  tribes,  but  the  ware  is  inferior 
and  vessels  are  small  and  plain.  The  characteristic  form  is  a  small, 
globular  jar  (fig.  26,  c),  apparently  made  in  imitation  of  the  capsule  of  the 
Brazil-nut  tree.    Arara  pottery  is  very  crude  (fig.  26,  a). 

Miscellaneous. — The  Shipaya  made  "half -gourds"  (cuias)  from  the 
cuiete  and  Lagenaria.  These  are  painted  black  inside  and  outside  and 
sometimes  have  maze  designs.  The  decorations  are  sometimes  incised  on 
the  shell  of  the  green  fruit. 

Other  containers  include  an  Arara  vessel  for  dye  made  of  the  dorsal 
carapace  of  a  turtle  and  a  rectangular  palm-straw  basket  with  a  lid  and 
upright  sides. 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  Yuruna  made  candles  of  little  wooden  sticks  wrapped  in  cotton  and 
soaked  in  oil. 

Weapons. — The  principal  weapon  was  the  bow  and  arrow.  The  club 
was  known  only  to  the  Shipaya  and  to  the  Asurini  (fig.  27,  c) .  The  Shipaya 
attached  a  short  cylindrical  club  to  the  wrist  by  means  of  a  loop.    A  club  of 


b         1^'   ^ 

c  'U 

Figure  27. — Asurini  weapons,  a,  Bow;  b,  hafted  stone  ax;  c,  wooden  club,    {.ui-dwu 
from  specimens,  Museu  Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi,  Belem,  and  Estevao  collection.) 

the  Asurini  in  the  Para  Museum  is  2^  feet  (85  cm.)  long,  the  handle 
covered  with  fibers  of  two  colors  interwoven  with  little  skill,  the  end 
rounded  and  flattened,  the  blade  3  inches  (8.5  cm.)  wide  by  1  inch  (2.5 
cm.)  thick,  and  both  edges  cut.  The  blade  is  slightly  curved,  almost  like 
a  machete.  The  cudgels  found  in  the  possession  of  the  Yuruna  were 
apparently  of  Cayapo  origin. 

The  Yuruna  bow  was  of  black  wood,  rectangular  in  cross  section,  over 
6^  feet  (2  m.)  long,  and  notched  at  the  ends  to  hold  the  cord.  Ctiruaya 
and  Shipaya  bows  were  similar.  The  Arara  made  powerful  bows  4]/^ 
feet  (1.3  m.)  long  with  a  flattened  elliptical  cross  section  about  1^  inches 
(4  cm.)  wide.  Asurini  bows  (fig.  27,  a)  in  the  C.  Estevao  Collection  in 
Para  are  made  of  paxiuba  palm,  SYz  to  Sy^  feet  (1.62  to  1.67  m.)  long. 
They  are  distinguishable  from  all  other  South  American  bows  by  their 
exaggerated  width,  2^  to  3  inches  (6  to  7  cm.)  ;  the  maximum  thickness 
is  Yi  inch  (1  cm.).  The  ends  are  notched  to  hold  the  cord,  one  end  of 
which  has  a  ring  to  slip  over  the  lower  tip  of  the  bow.  The  upper  half  or 
third  of  the  bow  is  almost  always  wound  with  dark  and  white  cotton 
threads,  while  the  lower  part  is  sometimes  covered  with  hawk  down  glued 

Yuruna,  Curuaya,  and  Shipaya  arrows  are  made  of  camayuva  {Guadua 
sp.)  and  have  bridged  feathering.  The  Asurini  and  Arara  used  sewed 
feathering.  The  most  common  point  is  a  lanceolate  blade  of  bamboo  or 
bone.    Asurini  arrows  in  the  C.  Estevao  collection  range  from  4  feet  1 


inch  to  5  feet  1  inch  (125  to  157  cm.)  in  length.  The  shaft  is  of  camayuva; 
the  heads  are:  (a)  of  bamboo,  1  foot  (32  cm.)  long  by  1^^  inches  (4  cm.) 
wide;  (&)  of  bone,  6  inches  (15  cm.)  long  by  ^  inch  (1.6  cm.)  wide,  with 
a  lateral  barb;  (c)  of  wood,  imitating  (a)  and  (&),  or  of  square  or  tri- 
angular cross  section  ;  (d)  with  four  sharp  wooden  points.  The  feathering 
is  sewed.  The  feathers,  usually  a  hawk  and  a  macaw  feather,  are  very  long, 
up  to  l}i  feet  (40  cm.).  The  point  where  they  are  tied  on  is  sometimes 
decorated  with  four  overlapping  rows  of  short  feathers,  glued  on,  three 
rows  of  yellow  feathers,  one  row  of  red.  The  shaft  of  the  arrow,  in  the 
space  between  the  vanes,  is  sometimes  covered  with  an  interweaving  of 
very  fine  black  and  white  fibers  or  cotton  threads  of  two  colors  with  an 
equally  ornamental  effect.  Some  arrows  have  a  "tucuma"  nut  inserted  at 
the  point  where  the  head  is  fastened  into  the  shaft.  This  nut  makes  no 
sound  and  apparently  serves  only  to  keep  the  arrow  from  penetrating  too 
far.  The  Shipaya  used  a  fish  arrow  having  a  long  cylindrical  point  of 
paxiuba  palm  wood  and  an  incendiary  war  arrow  with  a  piece  of  jutahy 
resin  in  the  slit  end. 

The  Arara  used  a  lance  with  a  long  bamboo  point. 

An  Arara  ax  which  I  observed  in  1917  north  of  the  middle  Iriri  River 
had  a  stone  head,  with  only  the  cutting  edge  polished.  The  head  was  held 
in  a  cavity  in  the  thickest  part  of  a  wooden  handle  by  means  of  wax  and 
string  lashing.  A  similar  Asurini  ax  in  the  Para  museum  has  the  head 
fitted  so  nicely  into  the  cavity  that  an  adhesive  and  lashing  are  unnecessary 
(fig.  27,  b). 

The  Arara  made  a  chisel  of  a  haf  ted  agouti  tooth. 


In  1913,  the  Curuaya  still  had  a  village  chief,  although  an  intelligent  in- 
terpreter who  had  a  monopoly  on  their  communication  with  Neo-Brazil- 
ians  enjoyed  much  greater  prestige.  Emilia  Snethlage  believes  that  chief- 
tainship originally  passed  from  father  to  son.  By  1913,  the  Curuaya  were 
becoming  rubber  collectors ;  by  1919,  they  were  mere  serfs  of  a  Neo- 
Brazilian  boss. 

A  certain  solidarity  united  the  Shipaya  as  against  other  tribes,  but  there 
was  no  tribal  organization.  From  the  beginning  of  the  20th  century  they 
seem  no  longer  to  have  had  chiefs  (i-ama;  i,  reverential  prefix)  and  noth- 
ing is  known  of  their  ancient  functions.  On  war  expeditions  an  experi- 
enced man  was  chosen  ad  hoc  to  take  command. 

The  Yuruna  were  divided  into  villages,  each  composed  of  a  number  of 
families  (patrilineal?).  A  comparison  of  Von  den  Steinen's  and  H. 
Coudreau's  data  indicates  that  these  families  or  communal  households 
were  probably  relatively  stable.  Chieftaincy  descended  from  father  to 
son ;  the  war  leader,  however,  was  not  the  village  chief  but  a  medicine  man. 

234  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Until  shortly  before  Von  den  Steinen's  expedition  there  seems  to  have 
been  a  supreme  chief  of  the  tribe,  who  lived  at  Piranhaquara. 

Among  the  Shipaya,  monogamy  is  the  rule;  bigamy  a  rare  exception. 
Divorce  is  uncommon.  The  couples  usually  live  in  perfect  harmony  and 
treat  each  other  on  equal  terms.  Both  men  and  women  participate  in 
religious  ceremonies.  Children  are  treated  with  an  almost  exaggerated 
tenderness,  and  are  rarely  given  away  to  civilized  people.  Infanticide  is 
considered  a  sin  that  provokes  the  anger  of  the  god  Kumapari,  who  ex- 
pressly forbade  it.  Formerly,  there  existed  a  relationship  of  solidarity  very 
formally  entered  into  by  two  individuals,  maitumas,  of  their  own  free  will. 
The  alliance  was  sealed  at  the  time  of  the  zetabia  ceremony  in  front  of 
Kumapari's  statue.  The  two  maitumas  were  never  to  quarrel,  should 
converse  with  each  other  respectfully,  and  should  help  each  other 
during  the  remainder  of  their  lives.  As  long  as  the  Shipaya  kept  their 
identity  as  a  tribe,  they  were  known  for  their  honesty. 

Among  the  Yuruna,  polygyny  (of  the  chiefs?)  was  practiced,  a  man 
having  up  to  three  wives.  Since  the  17th  century,  the  Yuruna  have  been 
proverbially  jealous  of  their  wives;  the  uprising  of  1666  was  due  to  the 
a.buses  of  the  chief  of  the  expedition  in  this  respect.  Von  den  Steinen 
noted  the  harmony  prevailing  between  spouses.  Parental  love  is  proved 
by  the  breaking  of  relations  with  the  mission  when  the  missionary  sent 
some  children  as  hostages  to  Belem.  One  day  Von  den  Steinen's  expedi- 
tion had  to  stop  and  camp  long  before  the  scheduled  hour  in  order  to 
prepare  the  food  for  the  Yuruna  guide's  little  daughter,  who  was  feeling 
hungry.  Naughty  children  were  not  beaten,  but  their  parents  treated  them 
with  ostentatious  contempt  until  they  mended  their  ways.  Von  den 
Steinen  observed  that  on  a  canoe  trip  a  father  left  his  disobedient  little 
daughter  at  the  edge  of  the  river,  forcing  her  for  a  while  to  follow  the 
canoe  on  foot  with  great  difficulty. 

The  old  reports  describe  the  Yuruna  as  brave  and  warlike,  and  both 
sexes  as  hard  workers.  The  women  spun  and  toasted  flour  even  during 
drinking  sprees.  Brusque's  record  (1863),  however,  calls  them  lazy, 
indolent,  and  thievish.  Von  den  Steinen  found  them  affable,  given  to 
laughter,  not  thievish,  and  willing  to  help  with  the  work.  He  observed 
the  weeping  salutation  which  lasted  about  a  minute  and  did  not  provoke 
tears.  When  subsequently  talking  to  the  host,  the  visitor  stood  beside 
him  without  looking  at  him,  but  staring  straight  into  space.  Visitors 
announced  their  arrival  by  blowing  a  horn. 

Among  the  Curuaya,  monogamy  was  the  rule ;  bigamy  was  rare,  accord- 
ing to  Emilia  Snethlage,  chiefly  because  of  poverty  and  the  lack  of 
women,  although  polygyny  was  the  theoretical  ideal.  Families  are  ap- 
parently patrilineal.     There  were  indications  of  the  couvade. 



There  are  no  reports  of  intratribal  conflict,  but  all  these  peoples  were 
intermittently  at  war  with  their  neighbors,  though  the  Shipaya  and  Arara 
remained  at  peace  with  the  Tacunyape.  In  the  17th  century,  the  Curuaya 
are  mentioned  as  enemies  of  the  Yurima  and  Tacunyape ;  in  1843,  as 
enemies  of  the  Yiiruna,  Shipaya,  and  Piapdy.  The  Asurini  and  Ta- 
cunyape were  at  war  recently.  The  implacable  enemy  of  all  these  tribes 
was  the  Northern  Cayapo,  who,  during  the  18th  century,  made  the 
Yuruna  seek  shelter  in  the  rocky  islands  of  the  rivers  and  cut  off  all  com- 
munications between  the  Yuruna  and  the  tribes  of  the  upper  Xingu 
River  until  the  beginning  of  the  20th  century.  We  have  already  seen 
how  the  Curuaya  succumbed  to  the  Cayapo  in  1934.  The  Shipaya  had 
also  been  constantly  menaced  by  the  Cayapo  and  earlier  by  the  Mundu- 
rucu  and  the  now  extinct  Piapdy.  The  Shipaya  had  been  alternately  at 
peace  and  at  war  with  the  Yuruna,  Arupai,  Curuaya,  and  Arara  but 
finally  effected  an  alliance  with  the  Yuruna  and  Curuaya,  and,  despite 
occasional  flare-ups,  intermarried  and  lived  together  with  them.  When 
at  peace  with  the  Yuruna,  Shipaya  groups  sometimes  settled  among 
them  on  the  Xingii.  Von  den  Steinen's  vocabulary  of  the  language  of 
the  "upper"  Yuruna  is  almost  pure  Shipaya,  and  Coudreau's  map  shows 
an  old  Shipaya  maloca  near  that  of  the  Yuruna  of  Jurucua  Falls  at  Volta 

The  Tacunyape  were  never  at  peace  with  the  Cayapo.  The  Cayapo, 
while  pursuing  the  Shipaya,  attacked  them  at  the  time  when  they  lived 
on  the  Iriri,  and  a  Tacunyape  raid  against  their  assailants  failed.  A 
strange  episode  is  told  about  this  expedition ;  the  chief  of  the  Tacunyape, 
mortally  wounded  by  an  arrow,  requested  that  one  of  his  warriors  divide 
his  body  at  the  waistline  with  a  big  knife,  so  as  to  have  to  carry  only 
the  upper  part  of  his  body  in  the  retreat  to  their  village,  leaving  the  nether 
part  on  the  battlefield. 

Cannibalism. — Since  the  17th  century,  the  Yuruna  have  been  accused 
of  cannibalism,  and  the  18th-century  Shipaya  were  known  as  cannibals. 
The  other  tribes  did  not  eat  human  flesh. 

Father  Joao  Daniel,  whose  tendency  to  exaggerate  makes  him  an  un- 
trustworthy witness,  states  that  the  Yuruna  kept  human  fat  in  kettles 
for  seasoning  their  food.  He  also  cites  cases  of  these  Indians  killing 
people  in  order  to  prepare  provisions  for  a  trip.  The  writer  also  doubts 
some  stories  told  by  the  Shipaya  about  such  customs  of  the  Yuruna.  It 
is  probable,  however,  that  cannibalism  really  existed  among  the  Yuruna, 
more  or  less  under  the  same  conditions  as  among  the  Shipaya. 

Father  Joao  Daniel  (around  1750)  called  the  Shipaya  "warlike,  cruel, 
and  cannibalistic  as  these  Yuruna,"  and  doubtless  before  closer  contact 
with  Neo-Brazilians  (around  1885),  they  were  cannibals.  Their  last  vie- 

653333— 47— 18 

236  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

tims  may  have  been  the  Cayapo  during  the  conflicts  which  resulted  in  the 
abandonment  of  the  tribal  dwellings  on  the  middle  Iriri.  (See  above.) 
Except  for  a  few  cases  where  vengeance  was  the  motive,  cannibalism  al- 
ways took  the  form  of  a  sort  of  communion  with  their  national  god,  Kuma- 
pari,  now  transformed  into  the  jaguar  with  an  avowed  man-eating  pro- 
pensity. Through  his  medicine  man,  he  used  to  manifest  his  desire  to  eat 
the  flesh  of  the  Shipaya^s  enemy.  The  tribe  then  organized  an  expedition 
against  one  of  the  hostile  tribes,  the  main  purpose  being  to  take  one  of  its 
members  alive.  The  prisoner  was  taken  to  the  maloca,  where  he  was  very 
well  treated.  Beverages  were  prepared,  and  after  the  guests  had  arrived, 
the  prisoner  was  killed  by  arrows  in  the  yard,  then  scalded,  quartered, 
and  the  pieces  cooked  or  roasted  on  a  rustic  grill  (moquem).  A  large  pot 
full  of  human  flesh  and  drink  was  then  covered  with  rush  mats  and  placed 
near  the  caves  for  Kumapari.  Of  those  attending  the  feast  "whoever 
wished"  also  ate  of  the  enemy's  meat.  The  killer  was  not  subject  to  the 
purification  prescribed  for  nonritual  killing. 

War  trophies. — Trophy  taking  was  more  common  than  cannibalism. 
The  Yuruna  kept  the  skulls  of  their  slain  enemies.  In  the  uprising  of 
1686,  "they  carried  as  a  standard  the  head  of  a  certain  Sergeant  Antonio 
Rodrigues,  whom  they  had  killed."  Sometimes  these  skulls  served  as 
resonators  for  their  war  trumpets.  They  made  flutes  of  the  enemies'  bones 
and  used  the  teeth  to  decorate  their  ear  lobes.  The  Shipaya  decapitated 
a  slain  foe,  carefully  picked  the  flesh  from  the  skull,  fastened  the  maxillary 
on  with  wax,  and  filled  the  orbits  with  wax,  placing  small  bone  disks  in 
their  centers.  The  killer  hung  the  trophy  in  a  basket  from  the  ridge  pole 
of  his  dwelling.  He  extracted  the  teeth  and  made  them  into  necklaces  for 
himself  and  wife  or  used  them  to  decorate  earplugs.  The  Arara  took  the 
following  trophies :  The  scalp  (fig.  28,  c),  including  the  ears,  stretched  in 
a  hoop;  the  skin  of  the  face  (fig.  28,  b),  similarly  stretched  and  trimmed 
with  tassels  of  beads,  with  a  loop  of  beads  for  hanging;  the  skull  (fig. 
28,  a) ,  cleaned  and  decorated  with  two  macaw  tail  feathers  inserted  behind 
the  zygomata  and  with  cotton  fluff;  and  the  teeth  made  into  necklaces 
(fig.  28,  d).  It  is  reported  that  they  stripped  off  the  entire  skin  of  one 
of  their  dead  enemies.  The  Cumaya  took  trophy  heads.  In  1919,  they 
told  me  that  they  had  carefully  preserved  the  skulls  of  the  Shipaya  killed 
in  their  last  conflict  with  them,  and  that  until  recently  they  had  danced 
with  them. 


Drinking  festivals. — The  Yuruna  attached  great  importance  to  a  drink, 
malicha,  made  from  manioc,  fermentation  of  which  was  produced  by 
women  chewing  part  of  the  mass.  Sometimes  bananas  were  added.  It  was 
allowed  to  ferment  in  a  canoe  set  up  in  the  festival  house  and  covered 
with  banana  leaves.    Drinking  parties  often  lasted  for  days.    During  such 



Figure  28.— Arara  trophies,  a,  Skull,  ornamented;  b,  skin  of  human  face  with  open 
mouth;  c,  human  scalp;  d,  human-tooth  necklace.  (Drawn  from  specimens,  Museu 
Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi,  Belem.) 

238  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

an  occasion,  Von  den  Steinen  saw  a  gaudily  adorned  personage  who  al- 
ternately played  the  pari-tadada  and  sang,  and  also  served  drinks  to  the 
others.  The  Yuruna  are  not  quarrelsome  when  they  drink;  they  sing 
and  talk  to  themselves,  walking  up  and  down,  and  pay  no  attention  to  one 

From  early  times,  the  Shipaya  too  were  considered  heavy  drinkers. 
At  any  celebration,  even  a  religious  one,  enormous  quantities  of  fermented 
drink  were  never  lacking.  The  Shipaya  never  became  belligerently  drunk, 
but  behaved  like  the  Yuruna.  After  contact  with  Neo-Brazilians,  how- 
ever, they  became  sadly  addicted  to  rum.  The  Curuaya  were  also  pas- 
sionately fond  of  fermented  drinks. 

The  Yuruna  smoked  tobacco  in  cigarettes  rolled  in  the  thin  skin  of  the 
tauri  (Couratari  sp.). 

Musical  instruments. — Curuaya  musical  instruments  include  small 
panpipes,  bone  flutes,  and  two  kinds  of  the  "tore"  clarinet. 

Yuruna  musical  instruments  were:  The  gourd  rattle  (maraca),  with 
a  plume  of  macaw  tail  feathers  at  the  tip;  a  signaling  horn  made  of  a 
gourd ;  a  horn  of  thick  bamboo  with  lateral  opening  for  blowing  and  with 
loops  and  tassels  of  feathers ;  the  same  with  sounding  box  made  of  a  gourd 
or  a  human  skull ;  small  panpipes ;  a  bone  flute ;  Von  den  Steinen's  "bas- 
soon," perhaps  corresponding  to  the  Shipaya  "takari"  (Karl  G.  Iziko- 
witz's  "tore  clarinet")  ;  a  great  wooden  trumpet  (pari-tadada)  used  at 
drinking  sprees  with  lateral  opening  for  blowing  and  a  bamboo  reed 
from  5.7  to  6.1  feet  (175  to  187  cm.)  in  length. 

Shipaya  dancing  and  music  were  always  linked.  Some  dances  imitated 
certain  animals  in  pantomime.  During  their  sprees,  they  would  walk  up 
and  down  in  pairs  or  alone,  singing  and  playing  the  flute  with  an  unearthly 

Besides  the  large  flutes  for  the  "zetabia"  ceremony  and  the  whistles 
for  the  dance  of  souls,  the  Shipaya  had  the  same  instruments  as  the 
Yariina :  a  bone  flute,  panpipes,  a  signal  horn,  a  large  conical  wooden 
trumpet,  painted  with  the  maze  design  (pari-tadada),  a  small  four-holed 
flute,  and  the  "takari."  This  last  requires  four  players,  for  it  has  a  scale 
of  four  notes  and  each  player  has  only  one  note  to  play.  The  melody 
results  from  each  player's  playing  his  note  as  required.  The  quartette 
forms  a  circle,  each  person  holding  the  "takari"  with  his  right  hand,  and 
placing  his  left  on  his  neighbor's  shoulder.  While  playing,  they  slowly 
move  round  and  round. 

The  gourd  rattle,  identical  with  the  Yuruna  form,  is  also  used  only  by 
the  medicine  man. 

Art. — The  Yaruna  and  Shipaya  (fig.  29)  used  the  maze  design  on 
their  engraved  gourds,  but  the  former  did  not  paint  it  on  their  bodies  with 
genipa,  generally  limiting  themselves  to  stripes  on  their  forearms  and  legs. 


SO  that,  artistically,  body  decoration  was  much  inferior  to  that  of  the 
Shipaya.  Yuruna  artists  were  generally  women.  There  are  numberless 
variations  of  the  maze  motif  with  which  they  cover  objects  and  especially 
the  body.  Frequently,  these  body  designs,  used  on  festive  occasions, 
are  so  fine  and  intricate  that  they  can  only  be  seen  at  close  range.  Besides 
the  maze  motif,  there  are  also  curvilinear  patterns. 

The  most  important  Shipaya  sculptural  products,  statues  of  mythological 
personages,  do  not  show  great  development  in  this  type  of  work.  Little 
figures  of  armadillos  and  other  animals  are  carved  from  a  palm  nut 
(Bactris  sp.)  and  made  into  necklaces.  Wooden  spoons  sometimes  appear 
in  artistic  and  original  forms,  the  handle  ending  in  the  form  of  a  clenched 









J    fln^l'ni 

Figure  29.—Shipaya  painted  decorations.  (Drawn  from  sketch  by  Curt  Nimuendaju.) 



[B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

fist,  etc.  In  1896,  H.  Coudreau  found  in  an  abandoned  Shipaya  tribal 
house  a  number  of  small  carved,  wooden  figures  representing  animals,  a 
canoe,  and  other  objects.  These  were  well  done.  (See  figs.  30,  a,  d,  j; 
31,  for  similar  Yuruna  specimens.). 


Figure  30. — Lower  Xingu  wood  carvings  and  manufactures,  a,  d,  f,  Yurima  carved 
toys  (  ?)  ;  h,  c,  Yuruna  and  Arara  wood  and  cord  combs;  e,  Yuruna  carding  comb. 
(Drawn  from  specimens,  Museu  Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi,  Belem.) 



a  b 

Figure  31. — Yuruna  carved  wooden  toys  (?).  (Drawn  from  specimens,  Museu 
Paraense  Emilio  Goeldi,  Belem.) 


The  principal  figure  in  Shipaya  religion  is  the  god  Kumapari,  son  of 
another  god  of  the  same  name,  and  father  of  Kunyarima,  whose  uterine 
brother  was  Arubiata.  Kumapari  stole  fire  from  the  tapir  hawk  and 
created  man  from  arrow-reeds,  making  the  Shipaya  first  of  all,  whence  his 
title  of  Sekarika  (Our  Creator).  The  brothers  carry  out  a  series  of  diffi- 
cult tasks,  by  order  of  Kumapari,  who  in  these  episodes  bears  the  title 
Marusawa  (Tupi:  morubisawa,  "chief?").  In  these  adventures  Kun- 
yarima gives  proof  of  intelligence  and  courage,  while  Arubiata  tries  in 
vain  to  imitate  him,  always  failing  and  saved  only  through  his  brother's 
intervention.  Kumapari,  angry  with  all  men,  goes  away  down  the  Xingu, 
to  the  north,  where,  at  the  end  of  the  world,  sky  and  earth  meet.  At  first 
of  human  shape,  he  now  has  the  form  of  an  old  jaguar.  He  has  turned 
into  the  god  of  war  and  cannibalism,  and  is  the  object  of  a  real  cult.  Con- 
secrated to  Kumapari  were:  medicine  men  to  whom  he  would  directly 
manifest  himself ;  their  helpers ;  and  the  god's  wives,  who  never  married 
men  and  had  certain  religious  duties. 

Sometimes  Kumapari  or  the  two  brothers  ordered  statues  (upasi)  to 
be  made:  cylindrical  posts  with  human  heads  carved  and  painted  on 
them  by  the  demon's  wives.  A  ceremony  (zetabia)  would  take  place  in 
front  of  the  statues  with  two  large  flutes  of  thick  bamboo,  held  by  these 

Among  the  many  other  gods  or  spirits  of  the  earth  and  sky,  the  most 
important  are  the  terrible  Apu-sipaya  (Jaguar  of  Heaven),  the  aquatic 
demon,  Pai,  and  the  Great  Snake,  Tobi,  from  whose  ashes  sprang  all 
cultivated  plants.  Respect  for  these  spirits,  the  help  they  can  give  men, 
and  fear  of  their  anger  and  malevolence  constitute,  together  with  magic 
and  the  worship  of  souls,  Shipaya  supernaturalism. 

The  soul  is  composed  of  two  parts:  the  awa,  which  after  death  turns 
into  a  specter  that  frightens  but  does  not  kill  people ;  and  the  isawi,  which 

242  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

inhabits  certain  large  rocks  or  hills  inside  which  it  lives  a  life  similar  to 
that  of  the  living.  Jointly,  all  the  isawi  are  called  i-anai  (i,  reverential 
prefix,  plus  ana,  plus  i,  suffix  of  the  collective  plural). 

From  time  to  time,  the  i-anai  again  desire  to  be  among  the  living  and 
advise  the  medicine  man,  who  then  orders  an  i-anai  karia  (feast  of  the 
souls  of  the  dead).  The  ceremonies  only  take  place  at  night  and  last  8 
or  more  nights.  One  by  one,  the  souls  enter  the  medicine  man  in  order 
to  dance  and  drink  with  the  living.  The  medicine  man  appears  from 
the  interior  of  a  dark  house  bringing  the  jugs  of  fermented  drink,  which 
are  wrapped  up  closely  in  a  rectangular  cape  of  heavy  coarse  cotton,  woven 
in  the  "double  thread"  technique.  These  threads  are  covered  with  cotton- 
wool, so  that  the  cape  resembles  a  sheep's  fleece.  The  cape  is  fastened 
to  a  hoop  worn  on  the  head,  and  from  which  hang  thick  black  fringes 
hiding  the  wearer's  face.  A  wreath  of  parrot  feathers  decorates  the  head, 
and  the  bottom  of  the  cape  is  bordered  with  wing  and  tail  feathers  of 
the  mutum,  which  touch  the  ground.  The  wearer  is  completely  covered, 
suggesting  a  white  pillar.  The  soul  is  summoned  with  shouts  and  the 
music  of  two  flutes,  a  single  and  a  double  one,  fastened  together  with  a 
thread.  It  then  enters  the  circle  formed  by  women  and  men,  who  welcome 
it  with  laughter.  In  a  nasal  voice,  the  soul  sings  a  short  verse  several 
times,  following  the  circular  dance  of  the  others,  then  disappears  into 
the  house,  yielding  its  place  to  another  soul.  This  ceremony  ends  with 
a  great  drinking  orgy.  Throughout  the  celebration  the  participants  refrain 
from  sexual  intercourse.  The  souls  of  those  recently  dead  never  appear 
on  such  occasions.  The  festival  ends  with  the  medicine  man's  ceremonially 
restoring  to  each  participant  his  isawi,  of  which  the  souls  had  deprived 
him,  for  its  loss  would  spell  death. 

The  medicine  man  is,  above  all,  the  intermediary  between  the  laity  and 
the  gods,  the  spirits,  and  the  souls  of  the  dead.  The  prerequisite  for  the 
profession  is  a  tendency  toward  dreams  and  visions,  a  good  teacher 
subsequently  instructing  the  tyro  how  to  develop  and  use  his  gift. 

Magic,  that  is,  the  art  of  curing  and  of  causing  illness,  as  well  as  of 
securing  special  advantages,  is  a  secular  science.  It  is  in  no  way  con- 
nected with  the  spirits  and  the  souls  of  the  dead,  although  exercised  by 
the  medicine  man,  who  heals  by  sucking  and  massaging,  removing  harm- 
ful influences  from  the  patient's  body,  and  transferring  them  to  a  green 
branch  (compare  Yuruna)  ;  he  also  blows  tobacco  smoke  over  the  patient. 

The  Yuruna  believed  in  the  god  the  Shipaya  call  "Kumapari,"  with 
whom  some  of  their  medicine  men  had  direct  communication,  and  also 
in  the  culture  hero  Kunyarima.  One  of  their  ceremonies,  observed  by 
Von  den  Steinen,  is  in  every  detail  identical  with  the  Shipaya  Dance  of 
Souls  (i-anai  Karia).  The  souls,  like  those  of  the  Shipaya,  lived  in 
certain  large  rocks,  safe  from  high  water,  such  as  Pedra  Preta,  Pedra  de 
Caxinguba,  and  Pedra  Seca,  to  which  due  reverence  was  given.     What 


Kletke  says  about  a  benevolent  diety  and  a  malevolent  deity  seems  not 

The  medicine  man  cured  by  violent  massaging,  forcing  the  pathogenic 
substances  from  the  body  into  green  branches,  which  were  then  carefully 
taken  outdoors.    Meanwhile,  the  patient  remained  lying  in  his  hammock. 

At  a  Curuaya  feast,  E.  Snethlage  saw  two  posts  carved  with  human 
faces  similar  to  the  Shipaya  statues.  It  is  not  known  whom  they  repre- 
sented. The  medicine  man's  hammock  was  hung  between  these  posts, 
and  behind  them  was  the  canoe  with  the  fermented  drink.  In  the  Curuaya 
mythology  there  are  two  pairs  of  brothers,  Witontim  and  Aizau,  whose 
parents  are  called  Karu-pia  and  Imiriwon,  and  Kabi-sau  (kabi,  "sky") 
and  Zaizu-sau  (zaizu,  "armadillo").  The  significance  of  the  so-called 
"karuara"  (in  the  Lingua  Geral),  cotton  tufts  hanging  from  the  ceiling 
in  small  vases  or  baskets,  is  not  certain.  Emilia  Snethlage  says  that  they 
contained  pathogenic  substances  the  medicine  man,  an  important  person 
in  the  village,  extracted  from  the  body  of  patients.  In  his  house  there 
was  a  room  walled  with  bark  and  closed  to  visitors,  in  which  he  effected 
his  cures.  Snethlage  assumes  an  astral  cult,  a  supposition  the  writer  was 
unable  to  confirm. 

Nothing  is  known  concerning  animism  or  burial  practices. 

The  Shipaya  say  that  the  Tacunyape  celebrated  the  dance  of  souls.  The 
cape  worn  for  the  dance  was  of  palm  fiber,  closed  all  around,  with  an 
opening  for  the  head.  The  souls  of  the  dead  came  from  the  forest  to 
participate  in  the  drinking,  but  did  not  sing  or  dance  with  the  living. 

Shipaya  and  Yuruna  dead  were  interred  inside  the  house,  the  hammocks 
of  the  closest  relatives  being  hung  near  the  burial.  Later,  the  bones  were 
removed,  cleaned,  and  put  away  in  a  basket,  which  was  hung  under  the 
ridge  pole.  The  writer  does  not  know  what  was  finally  done  with  them. 
The  closest  women  relatives  cut  their  hair  as  a  sign  of  mourning. 


Adalbert  von  Preussen,  1849,  1857;  Adam,  1896;  Bettendorf,  1910;  Brusque,  1863; 
Coudreau,  H.,  1897  c;  Daniel,  1841;  Ehrenreich,  1891  a,  1895,  1897  a;  Fritz,  1922; 
Heriarte,  1874;  Kletke,  1857;  Krause,  1936  b;  Laet  1899;  Macedo  Costa,  1875;  Maciel 
Parente,  1874;  Martius,  1867;  Meyer  (see  Krause,  1936  b)  ;  Moraes,  1860;  Moura, 
1910;  Nimuendaju,  1914  b,  1921-22,  1923-24,  1929  b,  1930  a,  1932  a,  1932  b, 
mss.;  Snethlage,  1913,  1920-21;  Snethlage  and  Koch-Griinberg,  1910;  Steinen,  1886. 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


Territory. — The  Maue  territory,  a  region  of  solid  land,  was  bounded 
by  the  lower  Tapajoz,  the  Amazon,  the  bayou  of  Uraria,  the  bayou  of 
Ramos,  lat.  5°  S.,  and  long.  58°  W.  (map  1,  No.  1 ;  map  4).  On  the 
banks  of  the  Tapajoz  River  and  the  bayous,  the  tribe  lived  only  tempo- 
rarily under  the  influence  of  civilized  people. 

Bettendorf  (1910)  does  not  mention  the  name  Maue,  but  writes  of 
Andira  and  Maragud  in  the  region  where  the  Maue  are  mentioned  a  little 
later.  These  two  groups  are  probably  local  Maue  subdivisions.  The 
Andira  undoubtedly  inhabited  the  Andira  River,  which  up  to  the  present 
time  is  a  Maue  region. 

History. — The  Jesuits  came  into  contact  with  these  tribes  after  the  Mission  to 
the  Tupinamharana  was  founded  in  1669.  In  1698,  the  Andira  welcomed  P.  Joao 
Valladao  as  a  missionary.  It  is  impossible  to  locate  the  Maragm  accurately,  but 
they  were  on  a  lake  between  the  Andira  and  the  Abacaxy  Rivers,  probably  on  the 
lower  Mauhes-assu,  which  widens  out  to  form  a  sort  of  lake.  They  had  three 
villages,  near  one  another  (Bettendorf,  1910,  p.  36).  In  1692,  after  they  had  killed 
some  White  men,  the  Government  declared  "just  war"  against  them,  which  was 
unsuccessful,  as  the  Indians  were  forewarned  and  scattered,  only  a  few  offering 
any  resistance.  In  1696,  the  Jesuits  took  up  residence  among  the  Maragud,  100 
of  whom  were  transferred  in  1698  to  the  village  of  Guama,  near  Belem.  The 
Maragud  are  not  mentioned  in  the  18th  century. 

The  Mabue  {Maue)  appear  for  the  first  time  on  P.  Samuel  Fritz's  map  (1691) 
of  the  Amazon,  which  places  them  just  west  of  the  Tapajoz,  at  lat.  3°  30'  S., 
the  present  habitat  of  the  Maue.  The  Maragud  were  south  of  the  Amazon,  op- 
posite the  Trombetas  River,  and  the  Andira  on  a  water  course  which  might  have 
been  the  Ramos  Bayou. 

According  to  Father  Joao  de  Sao  Jose  (1847,  p.  101),  in  1762  the  Mague 
lived  below  the  falls  of  the  Tapajoz  River,  4  leagues  (about  11  miles)  inland.  The 
Sao  Jose  (Pinhel)  and  Santo  Ignacio  (Boim)  Missions  on  the  Tapajoz  were 
settled  with  Mague.  In  1762,  the  Indians  of  the  latter  mission  killed  the  director 
of  the  village.  When  they  also  murdered  some  merchants,  the  governor,  Ataida 
Teive,  in  1869  forbade  any  commerce  with  them  hoping  to  starve  them  into  sub- 
mission (Nunes  Pereira,  1939).  After  the  Brazilians  and  Mundurucu  made  peace, 
some  of  the  latter  joined  some  Maue  in  settling  a  little  below  the  present  city  of 


246  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Mauhes,  where  Martius  (1867)  saw  them  in  1819.  In  1832,  another  bloody  con- 
flict took  the  lives  of  some  civilized  men  (Souza,  A.,  1870,  p.  86).  In  1823,  the 
village  of  Itaituba  was  founded  on  the  Tapajoz  River  with  Maue,  and  in  1828 
there  were  400  of  them  settled  there. 

The  Andird  mission  flourished  from  1848  to  1855  under  Father  Pedro  de  Ciriana, 
despite  conflicts  between  the  missionary  and  the  Parintins  authorities.  In  1849, 
it  had  507  Maue;  in  1851,  570;  and  in  1852,  665,  not  counting  a  large  number  of 
civilized  people.  In  1855,  the  missionary's  place  was  taken  by  a  parish  priest 
(Tenreiro  Aranha,  1852,  p.  32;  Correa  de  Miranda,  1852,  p.  128;  Coelho,  1849, 
p.  784;  Wilkens  de  Mattos,  1856,  p.  128). 

In  1862  there  were  4  villages  in  the  Tapajoz  region  with  3,657  Maue  (Souza,  A., 
1870,  p.  25).  At  the  beginning  of  the  20th  century,  all  but  one  of  these  villages 
on  the  tributaries  of  the  Tapajoz  were  destroyed  by  the  rubber  gatherers  of 
Itaituba,  who  took  possession  of  the  land.  As  a  result,  the  Maue  took  sides 
openly  with  the  Amazon  forces  in  the  armed  conflict  of  1916  between  this  State 
and  Para. 

In  1939,  Nunes  Pereira  (1939)  estimated  that  there  were  2,000  to  3,000  Maue 
in  the  Andira  region,  a  figure  which  may  have  been  a  little  high. 

An  adequate  study  has  not  been  made  of  the  Maue.  Martius  did  not  live  with 
them  very  long. 

Reports  on  Maue  character,  based  on  direct  observation,  are  generally  favorable. 
Bates  (1863)  called  them  "invariably  friendly  to  the  Whites";  Katzer  (1901) 
found  them  always  friendly,  unusually  intelligent,  quick  to  understand,  and  capable 
of  clear  expression.  The  present  author  regarded  them  as  suspicious  and  inclined 
to  lie  though  not  to  thieving,  and  as  peace-loving  and  gay.  Nunes  Pereira  (1939) 
found  them  skillful  and  peace-loving. 

Language. — The  Maue  language  is  known  through  six  vocabularies. 
(Coudreau,  H.,  1897  a;  Katzer,  1901;  Anonymous,  ms.  b;  Nimuendaju, 
1929  a,  1929  b;  Koch  Griinberg,  1932.)  Fundamentally,  it  is  Tupi,  but 
differs  from  the  Guarani-Tupinamba.  The  pronouns  agree  perfectly  with 
the  Curnaya-Mundurucu,  and  the  grammar,  insofar  as  the  material  permits 
analysis,  is  Tupi.  The  Maue  vocabulary,  however,  contains  an  element 
that  is  completely  foreign  to  Tupi  but  which  cannot  be  traced  to  any  other 
linguistic  family.  Since  the  18th  century,  the  Maue  language  has  incorpo- 
rated numerous  words  from  the  Lingua  Geral. 

Ethnographical  sources. — Barboza  Rodrigues  (1882  b)  visited  the 
Maue  in  1872,  but  his  information  lacks  confirmation  in  some  particulars. 
The  present  author  made  a  brief  visit  in  1923  to  the  more  civilized  Maue 
on  the  Mariacua  River.  The  most  recent  and  detailed  information  is  that 
of  Nunes  Pereira  in  1939. 


Farming. — The  Maue  have  always  had  remarkable  interest  in  agri- 
culture, but  lost  much  of  it  with  the  development  of  the  rubber  industry. 
They  grow  manioc,  potatoes,  cara  (Dioscorea),  beans,  and  lima  beans: 


nowadays,  they  also  cultivate  rice  and  coffee,  which  they  prepare  and  drink 
in  the  Brazilian  manner.  They  still  plant  their  old  fruit  trees,  and  they 
grow  kitchen  and  medicinal  herbs  on  platforms.  They  also  cultivate  a 
few  Old  World  fruit  trees.  To  plant  root  crops,  they  use  a  clean  turtle 
skull  to  pull  the  earth  over  the  cuttings,  believing  that  this  will  increase 
production.  At  planting  and  harvesting  times,  the  owner  of  a  field 
organizes  a  feast  to  reward  his  helpers. 

Hunting. — The  Maui  are  good  hunters,  though  hunting  is  not  an 
important  activity.  Today  many  of  them  use  fire  arms,  but  in  Martins' 
time,  they  would  refuse  any  game  killed  with  guns  or  with  dogs,  leading 
one  to  believe  that  originally  dogs  were  as  foreign  to  them  as  fire  arms. 
Martins  was  informed  that  the  Maue  acquired  blowguns  and  poisoned 
blowgun  darts  from  their  neighbors  to  the  west,  but  this  was  not  confirmed 
by  any  other  author.  Nunes  Pereira  mentions  some  practices  believed  to 
influence  hunting :  They  pluck  the  breast  and  neck  feathers  of  hunted  fowl, 
burn  them,  and  rub  them  on  their  guns ;  they  wash  their  guns  and  dogs 
with  an  infusion  from  a  marsh  plant  called  "jasmin  de  lontra" ;  a  gun 
will  be  lucky  if  a  cipo  snake  is  allowed  to  decompose  inside  the  barrel,  and 
it  will  be  unlucky  if  it  comes  into  contact  with  a  pregnant  or  menstruating 
woman.    The  Maue  do  not  use  game  traps  or  lures  of  any  kind. 

Fishing. — They  take  fish  with  weirs,  a  special  single-headed  arrow 
poisoning  the  water  with  a  drug  called  timbo  and,  nowadays,  fishhooks. 
That  they  do  not  eat  the  large  river  fish  but  utilize  only  the  smaller  fish 
of  creeks  and  forest  pools  (Martins,  1867)  supports  the  assumption  that 
they  have  habitually  avoided  the  large  rivers. 

Wild-food  gathering. — Martins  states  that  the  Maue  roamed  the 
forest  in  search  of  palm  fruits  of  various  kinds,  Brazil  nuts,  and  piqui  fruit. 
They  eat  winged  female  sauva  ants,  which  they  take  at  swarming  time, 
roast,  and  pound  with  manioc  flour.  They  also  eat  termites  roasted  in 
banana  leaves.  Spix  and  Martins  (1823-31,  3:1,318).  state  that  they 
introduced  a  slender  stick  into  the  anthill  so  that  the  insects  took  hold  of  it 
and  were  thus  conveyed  to  the  mouth.  They  also  eat  a  species  of 


According  to  Martins,  the  Maui  lived  in  round  single-family  houses. 
Their  recent  settlements  consist  of  one  or  more  huts,  which  are  usually 
rectangular  with  a  gable  roof  and  overhanging  eaves  but  without  walls. 
These  are  well  thatched  with  leaves  of  the  carana  palm.  The  kitchen  is 
generally  in  a  separate  hut,  where  the  manioc  flour  is  made.  Nunes 
Pereira  mentions  "rooms"  in  the  Maui  houses,  and  also  a  "dance  house" 
and  the  "house  of  menstruating  women." 

The  main  pieces  of  furniture  are  wooden  benches  carved  out  of  a  solid 
block  of  wood.    Cotton  hammocks  are  twined,  and  the  ends  of  the  warp 

248  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

are  attached  to  special  cords  (sobrepunhos),  which  extend  beyond  them 
to  form  loops,  by  which  the  hammock  is  suspended  (Nimuendaju,  ms.). 


Nothing  is  known  regarding  aboriginal  Maue  dress.  These  Indians 
quickly  adopted  their  present  clothing  from  the  Brazilians,  although  many 
still  are  naked  from  the  waist  up.  They  did  not  disfigure  or  tattoo  them- 
selves. Martins  was  told,  however,  that  some  persons  pierced  the  lower 
lip  and  inserted  a  small  piece  of  wood  in  it.  No  authors  mention  body 


The  aboriginal  Maue,  a  sedentary  and  agricultural  people,  lived  inland 
from  the  rivers,  and  were  not  a  canoeing  people.  Sao  Jose  states  that 
"they  usually  do  not  know  how  to  swim."  Cerqueira  e  Silva  (1833, 
p.  273)  says  that  they  will  not  ford  the  Curauahy  River,  preferring 
to  take  a  great  deal  of  trouble  to  make  swinging  bridges  of  vines. 
This  may  be  explained  by  their  aversion  to  water.  Martins  stated  that  they 
used  canoes,  some  of  the  "uba"  type  hollowed  out  of  guanani  logs  and 
others  made  of  jutahy  bark.  They  are  poor  canoeists  even  today,  but 
they  have  a  few  canoes  which  are  either  acquired  direct  from  the  civilized 
population  or  else,  like  their  paddles,  are  rough  imitations  of  those  used 
by  the  Whites.  On  the  other  hand,  they  make  long  treks  on  foot,  with 
the  heavy  basket  ( jamaxim)  on  their  backs,  showing  admirable  endurance. 


Basketry. — From  palm  leaves  and  creepers,  the  Maue  make  baskets 
with  and  without  lids,  sieves,  strainers,  fans,  carrying  baskets,  hats,  and 
brooms.  Some  baskets  with  lids  are  made  of  red  and  black  strips.  These 
articles  are  generally  sold  to  civilized  people. 

Pottery. — The  only  earthenware  objects  made  today  are  pans  to  dry 
out  the  manioc  flour ;  no  reference  to  other  types  occurs  in  the  literature. 
Scattered  about  in  old  dwellings  in  the  Maue  territory  may  be  found  plain 
black  sherds. 

Gourds  and  calabashes. — Gourd  containers  lack  ornamentation,  but 
calabashes  sometimes  are  fire  engraved  on  the  green  exterior. 

Weapons. — The  bow,  flat  on  the  belly  and  convex  on  the  outside,  is 
made  of  a  red  wood  and  has  specially  made  points  to  hold  the  ambauva 
(Cecropia  sp.)  cord.  Martins  says  Maue  bows  were  a  useful  article  of 
trade.  The  arrows  have  arched  feathering.  The  points  are  of:  (1) 
bamboo,  rather  small  and  lance-shaped;  (2)  bone,  forming  a  barb; 
(3)  iron,  for  hunting  tapir;  (4)  wood,  bilaterally  serrated;  and  (5)  for 
fishing,  an  iron  nail  forming  a  barbed  point.    The  Maue  also  have  little 


arrows  for  children,  with  a  small  crosspiece  of  sticks  at  the  end.  They 
have  no  arrows  with  wooden  plugs  and  do  not  use  pellet  bows.  There 
are  no  reports  of  clubs. 


According  to  Martius,  the  Mane  were  divided  into  "hordes" ;  he  cites 
12  of  these,  giving  their  names  in  the  Lingua  Geral.  Some  of  them,  how- 
ever, may  not  belong  to  the  Maue  tribe. 

According  to  Nunes  Pereira,  the  Maue  believe  themselves  to  be 
descended  from  the  animals  or  plants  that  lend  their  name  to  each  "nation" 
(i.e.,  Martius'  "hordes").  We  have  no  details  or  confirmation  on  this 

Families  are  patrilocal. 

Maue  chiefs  enjoy  remarkable  authority  even  today,  and  there  seems 
to  be  a  hierarchy  of  officials.  Succession  is  patrilinear.  There  used  to  be 
a  special  burial  ceremony  for  chiefs. 

Carefully  preserved  in  the  choir  of  the  chapel  of  the  Indian  village 
of  Terra  Preta,  Nunes  Pereira  found  an  article  which  resembles  a  club, 
but  which  the  author  calls  a  "magic  paddle."  It  is  made  of  dark  wood, 
45  inches  (1.1  m.)  long,  4  inches  (11  cm.)  greatest  width,  and  18  inches 
(45  cm.)  thick,  narrowing  toward  the  end,  which  resembles  a  top.  The 
larger  half  is  ornamented  on  both  sides  with  carved  rhombs,  points,  and 
bands,  one  of  which  bears  an  ornament  derived  from  a  basketry  motive. 
It  was  made  by  the  third  predecessor  of  the  present  chief  and  has  been 
transmitted  to  each.  The  designs  allegedly  refer  to  the  tradition  of  the 
tribe,  but  no  explanation  of  them  is  given.  The  Maue  call  the  object 


Pregnancy  and  childbirth. — During  pregnancy,  both  parents  are 
obliged  to  observe  a  strict  diet  of  ants,  fungi,  and  guarana  dissolved  in 
water.  To  let  their  blood  at  this  time,  many  cut  their  arms  and  legs  with 
a  rodent's  tooth  or  a  toucan's  bill  set  into  a  handle,  starting  profuse  hem- 
orrhages. Into  these  wounds  they  rub  the  ashes  of  burned  genipa  fruit 
(Martius,  1867),  To  facilitate  childbirth,  the  woman's  hips  are  bathed 
beforehand  in  the  ashes  of  paca  skulls  or  of  birds'  eggshells  mixed  with 
water.  After  the  birth,  the  parents'  first  food  consists  of  fungi  and  two 
kinds  of  ants  (sauva  and  maniuara).  The  mother  has  a  postpartum 
rest  period  of  a  month,  and  the  father  goes  on  a  diet  of  porridge 
(mingau)  and  guarana.  The  first  food  taken  after  this  period  is  inambu 
Tinamus  sp.)  flesh  (Nunes  Pereira,  1939). 

Children  are  carried  in  a  sling  hung  around  the  neck.  It  is  made  of 
raw  fibers,  the  ends  being  tied  with  a  black  string.     Sao  Jose  (1847) 

250  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

states  that  the  Maue  practiced  infanticide  and  abortion.  Before  puberty, 
girls  wear  colored  bands  on  their  arms  and  below  their  knees. 

Puberty. — At  their  first  menstruation,  girls  retire  to  a  hammock  hung 
to  the  rooftree.  They  maintain  a  rigorous  diet  until  the  end  of  the  second 
menstruation,  taking  only  manioc  cakes  (beiju),  fish,  and  water  (Mar- 
tius,  1867).  Nunes  Pereira  states  that  they  are  fed  fungi,  which  their 
parents  bring  them,  and  that,  at  the  end  of  this  period,  they  eat  inambu 
and  toucan  flesh.  The  author  fails  to  explain  whether  the  "house  of 
menstruating  women"  which  he  saw  was  used  only  for  the  first  menstrua- 
tion, or  for  all.  In  some  Indian  villages,  the  same  author  says,  women 
retire  to  the  "room  of  unmarried  women"  during  menstruation. 

All  authors  establish  some  relation  between  boys'  puberty  and  the 
Celebration  of  Tucandira.  The  Maue  told  the  present  author  that  the 
application  of  tucanderas  (stinging  ants),  though  highly  recommended 
at  any  time  of  life,  is  necessary  in  boyhood,  especially  if  a  youth  were 
somewhat  retarded  in  his  physical  development,  and  in  old  age,  when 
strength  began  to  fail,  and  in  cases  of  weakness.  Nunes  Pereira  was 
informed  that  boys  of  6  and  young  men  of  20  (?)  were  stung.  The 
ceremony,  however,  has  not  been  witnessed,  except  by  Barboza  Rod- 
rigues,  who  was  present  for  2  days.  His  description  lacks  confirmation 
on  some  points.  He  states  that  it  was  celebrated  annually  in  the  main 
hut  by  convocation  of  the  chief.  Everybody  brought  drinks  and  bar- 
becued meat.  The  ants,  benumbed  by  having  been  left  in  water  over- 
night, were  caught  in  the  mesh  of  a  textile  which  was  used  to  line  a  flat- 
tened or  cylindrical  "glove,"  artistically  woven  from  strips  of  fibers  and 
adorned  with  macaw  and  royal  hawk  feathers.  Everybody  gathered  in 
the  chief's  yard,  the  women  seated  in  a  circle  within  the  circle  of  men. 
The  chief  in  the  center  held  the  "gloves."  The  singing  began,  and  the 
chief  shook  his  rattle  (maraca)  while  the  others  played  bambu  flutes 
and  drums.  After  blowing  tobacco  smoke  on  the  ants,  the  chief  put 
the  glove  on  one  of  the  young  men,  who  danced,  yelling  and  howling, 
inside  the  circle,  amidst  the  applause  of  the  crowd,  until  a  woman  or 
the  chief  took  the  glove  off  him.  After  this,  everyone  moved  on  to  the 
nearest  house  and  repeated  the  ceremony.  According  to  Barboza  Rod- 
rigues  (1882  b),  a  boy  had  to  endure  seven  applications  of  ants,  but 
their  sequence,  and  the  relation  between  them  and  marriage  was  not 

Martius  reports  that  a  cotton  sleeve  containing  ants  was  first  applied  to 
boys  between  8  and  10.  When  they  began  to  cry  and  scream,  the  spec- 
tators drew  them  into  a  noisy  dance,  until  they  fell  exhausted.  Then 
their  stings  were  treated  by  older  women  with  the  juice  of  the  manioc 
leaf,  and,  as  soon  as  they  felt  better,  they  had  to  try  to  draw  their  bows. 
This  ceremony  was  repeated  until  the  age  of  14,  when  a  boy  could  bear  it 
without  flinching  and  was  considered  ready  to  marry.     According  to 


Martius  (1867),  the  Maue  counted  their  age  by  the  number  of  applica- 
tions, but  the  words,  in  the  Lingua  Geral,  which  he  gives  in  this  connec- 
tion— jiibir  jepe,  jiibir  mocoim,  etc. — only  mean  "one  turn,  two  turns," 
etc.  (jebyr,  "turn"). 

Marriage. — Today  the  Maue  are  monogamous,  but  formerly  polygamy 
was  permitted.  There  is  no  special  marriage  ceremony  (Nunes  Pereira, 
1939).  The  candidate  asks  the  girl's  parents  for  their  consent  and  it  is 
given  after  long  deliberation,  even  if  she  has  not  yet  reached  puberty.  The 
couple  settle  in  their  own  hut. 

Married  women  are  excluded  from  dances.  All  women  are  forbidden 
to  have  any  contact  with  persons  outside  the  tribe  and  to  use  the  Portu- 
guese language,  a  prohibition  which  is  not  always  observed  nowadays. 

Death  and  burial. — Today  the  Maue  bury  in  cemeteries,  more  or  less 
in  Christian  fashion,  but  they  still  place  the  deceased's  personal  belongings 
in  the  grave.  The  family  observes  a  fast  (Nunes  Pereira).  Formerly,  the 
dead  were  buried  inside  their  house,  in  a  sitting  position.  Martius  states 
that  at  the  death  of  a  chief,  the  tribe  was  obliged  to  go  on  a  diet  of  ants 
and  guarana  for  a  month.  During  the  first  2  weeks  of  this  time,  the  chief's 
dead  body,  stretched  out  and  tied  to  laths,  was  dried  between  fires ;  then 
it  was  buried,  in  a  sitting  position  propped  up  with  stones  and  sticks 
in  a  round  hole.  The  hole  was  not  filled  with  earth,  and  at  the  end  of  the 
month  the  body  was  taken  out  and  exposed  for  a  day.  The  whole  tribe 
danced  around  the  body,  weeping  so  that  their  tears  ran  into  their  mouths 
and  were  swallowed.  In  the  evening  the  body  was  buried  in  the  same  place 
and  position,  and  the  celebration  continued  all  night  with  dancing  and 
drinking.  In  one  instance,  when  a  chief  died  during  a  trip,  his  companions 
severed  his  body  in  two  below  the  ribs,  dried  the  halves,  and  brought  them 
back  to  the  village. 


The  Maue,  though  brave,  were  less  warlike  than  the  Mundurucu,  with 
whom  they  warred  until  the  second  half  of  the  18tli  century.  According 
to  Barboza  Rodriguez  (1882  b),  the  Maue  who  took  part  in  the  last  fight 
between  the  two  tribes  had  lines  of  black  tattooing  on  the  thorax,  similar 
to  that  of  the  Mundurucu.  They  sometimes  took  prisoners  of  war.  They 
used  the  skulls  of  slain  enemies  as  drinking  vessels,  and  their  long  bones 
as  flutes.    Before  fighting,  they  took  guarana  (Martius,  1867) . 


Ornaments. — The  Maue  were  formerly  famous  for  articles  made  of 
feathers,  which  were  important  commodities  in  their  trade.  Martius 
mentions  scepters  and  head  and  neck  ornaments.  The  feather  art  has 
disappeared,  with  the  exception  of  some  feather  ornaments  on  the  instru- 


252  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

ment  used  during  the  Celebration  of  Tucandira.  The  Maue  still  wear  neck- 
laces of  small  figures  carved  out  of  the  hard  nut  of  certain  palms 

Musical  instruments. — Drums  are  heavy  cylinders  of  wood,  with  one 
end  covered  with  leather.  They  are  laid  horizontally  and  played  with  the 
hands.  The  Maue  also  use  violins  and  caracachas,  which  are  serrated 
bambu  cylinders  scraped  with  a  small  stick. 

Drinks  and  narcotics. — The  Maue  are  very  fond  of  a  drink  made  from 
dried  cakes  of  manioc  flour  (the  aroba  or  paiauaru  of  Neo-Brazilians). 

Since  the  Maue  were  first  mentioned  by  Bettendorf  (1910,  p.  36),  they 
have  been  famous  for  their  cultivation  and  preparation  of  guarana  (Paul- 
linia  sorbilis),  of  which  they  enjoyed  the  monopoly.  The  fruit  is  roasted 
in  an  oven,  pounded  in  a  mortar,  and  made  into  hard,  cylindrical  rolls.  A 
little  is  grated  off  by  means  of  a  stone,  and  the  powder  is  dissolved  in 
water  in  a  gourd.  This  drink  is  called  capo.  People  in  groups  take  it 
many  times  a  day.  The  head  of  the  house  drinks  it  first  and  then  it  is 
passed  from  right  to  left  among  the  others.  The  Maue  believe  that  guarana 
brings  them  luck  in  any  transactions,  that  it  gives  joy,  and  that  it  is  a 
stimulus  to  work,  preventing  fatigue  and  hunger. 

In  planting,  the  seeds  are  carefully  chosen,  as  are  later  the  young  plants. 
A  medicine  man  goes  through  a  ceremony  over  the  ground  when  it  is 
ready  for  planting,  and  there  are  celebrations  with  dancing  and  drinking. 
Formerly,  the  Maue,  enjoyed  a  considerable  trade  in  guarana,  but  by  the 
end  of  the  last  century,  it  had  decreased  with  the  rise  of  the  rubber  industry, 
and  today  the  greater  part  of  the  guarana  for  commercial  purposes  is 
produced  by  Neo-Brazilians  of  the  region. 

The  Maue  explained  to  Nunes  Pereira  that  guarana  constitutes  a  pro- 
tection or  charm  for  them :  That  it  brings  rain,  protects  their  farms,  cures 
certain  diseases  and  prevents  others,  and  brings  success  in  war  and  in 
love,  especially  when  there  are  two  rivals  for  the  affections  of  one  woman. 
To  the  present  author,  they  recommended  it  as  well  as  parica  for  its  magic 
effects  against  storms. 

Parica,  made  from  the  seeds  of  Mimosa  acacioides,  is  now  little  used. 
The  seeds  are  roasted  and  finely  pulverized  in  a  carefully  made,  shallow 
basin  of  a  red  wood,  and  the  powder  is  dried  on  a  flat  piece  of  wood  "or 
of  porcelain"  (Spix  und  Martius,  1823-31,  3:1,318).  The  Indians  use 
two  long  tubular  bones  to  sniff  the  powder  up  into  both  nostrils  simul- 
taneously, or  they  rolled  a  piece  of  banana  leaf  into  a  tube  (Ratzel,  1894, 
1:509).  There  is  a  statement  by  Martius  (1867,  p.  411)  which  could 
be  interpreted  as  meaning  that  the  Maue  also  used  parica  as  a  clyster, 


Today  all  Maue  are  baptized  and  have  chapels  in  their  villages  with 
images  of  the  saints,  which  they  worship  on  their  own  account  with 


litanies,  imitating  the  Christian  service  in  Latin.  These  services  end  in 
dancing  and  drinking.  In  these  celebrations,  they  use  musical  instruments. 
Regarding  their  former  religion,  Martins  (Spix  and  Martins,  1823-31, 
3:1,331)  was  informed  that  there  were  vestiges  of  a  belief  in  a  god  and 
in  the  power  of  evil  demons. 


Nunes  Pereira  (1939)  speaks  of  shamans  of  great  reputation  who 
carry  out  ceremonies  designed  to  bring  about  an  excellent  harvest  of 
guarana.  All  guarana  plantations  must  be  "blessed"  by  the  shaman. 
Some  shamans  cure  diseases ;  others  are  evil  magicians  who  cause  them. 
The  Maue  greatly  fear  sorcery,  and  attribute  all  deaths  to  witchcraft,  even 
if  the  supposed  spell  was  cast  over  a  year  previously.  Their  reluctance 
to  take  medicine  furnished  by  civilized  people  is  prompted  by  their  fear 
of  spells.  All  shamans  work  with  an  assistant.  Today  they  take  a  strong 
manioc  drink  (taroba)  to  stimulate  them  to  action.  Magic  is  exercised 
by  the  shaman,  but  everybody  knows  something  about  medicinal  plants 
and  animal  products.  Uaciri-pot,  the  chieftain  and  shaman,  who  probably 
lived  in  the  first  half  of  the  last  century,  had  the  power  of  capturing  the 
"mother  of  sickness"  in  the  plaza  by  means  of  conjurations,  magic  ges- 
tures, and  lines  drawn  upon  the  ground. 


Two  legends  are  recorded  (Nunes  Pereira,  1939).  In  the  first,  the 
true  timbo  (a  fish  drug)  and  the  false  timbo  originated  from  the  legs  of 
a  buried  child  who  had  been  killed  by  a  spell  cast  by  the  fish ;  water  was 
invented  by  these  same  fish.  In  the  second,  guarana  originated  from  the 
eyes  of  a  boy  who  was  born  of  the  contact  of  a  girl  with  a  little  snake, 
and  who  was  killed  by  his  uncles.  From  the  buried  body,  several  animals 
were  born.    The  boy  was  finally  resurrected  and  became  the  first  Maue. 


In  the  17th  and  18th  centuries  there  lived  to  the  west  of  the  lower 
Tapajoz,  a  tribe  of  Indians  called  Arapium  (Fritz,  1691,  (see  Volume  1, 
map  7)  Arapiyu),  lat.  2°  30'  S.,  long.  55°  30'  W.,  which  the  Jesuits 
gathered  at  the  beginning  of  the  18th  century  in  the  Cumaru  Mission 
(Villa  Franca)  at  the  mouth  of  the  Arapiuns  River.  Both  Martins  (1867) 
and  Metraux  (1928  a)  considered  them  to  be  the  same  as  the  Maue.  The 
only  ethnological  data  regarding  them  are  the  following,  from  Joao  Daniel 
(1841,  pp.  168-71,  478) ,  who  saw  them : 

Girls  undergoing  their  first  menstrual  period  were  secluded  and  made 
to  fast.  After  the  fast,  the  girl  was  bled  from  head  to  foot  with  a  cutia 
tooth.    She  then  negotiated  a  marriage  with  the  first  young  man  she  saw. 

254  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

Before  marrying,  a  young  man  had  to  place  his  arms  in  long  gourds 
full  of  sauva  ants  {Atta  sp.)  to  show  his  courage.  A  drinking  feast 
concluded  the  ceremonies. 

A  dead  man's  flesh  was  eaten  by  his  relatives.  Old  women  pulverized 
his  bones  and  mixed  them  in  drinks. 

The  Arapium  held  celebrations  in  honor  of  the  new  moon.  They  went 
out  when  it  first  appeared  and  stretched  out  their  arms,  hands,  and  fingers, 
as  if  asking  for  health  and  strength. 

Of  these  cultural  features,  only  the  girls'  menstrual  seclusion  and 
fasting  and  the  young  man's  ant  ordeal  are  found  also  among  the  Maui. 
The  others  differ  from  Maue  customs,  proving  that  the  Arapium  were 
most  likely  an  offshoot  of  the  Tapajo  tribe.  The  present  author,  explor- 
ing the  Arapiuns  River  in  1924,  found  many  old  Indian  dwelling  places 
where  the  pottery,  with  its  plastic  ornamentation,  was  very  different  from 
that  found  in  the  region  of  the  Maue,  being  much  more  similar  to  that 
of  the  Tapajo.  After  1762,  when  the  Arapium  were  last  mentioned  as 
living  in  Obidos  and  on  the  Arapiuns  River,  there  is  no  further  informa- 
tion regarding  them. 


Almeida  Serra,  1869  (1779);  ms.  b;  Barboza  Rodrigues,  1882  b;  Bates,  1863; 
Bettendorf ,  1910 ;  Cerqueira  e  Silva,  1833 ;  Coelho,  1849 ;  Correa  de  Miranda,  1852 ; 
Coudreau,  H.,  1897  a;  Daniel,  1841;  Florence,  1841  (?)  [1825-29];  Fritz,  1691; 
Furtado,  1858;  Katzer,  1901;  Koch-Griinberg,  1932;  Martius,  1867;  Metraux,  1928  a; 
Monteiro  Baena,  1843 ;  Nimuendaju,  1929  a,  1929  b ;  ms. ;  Nunes  Pereira,  1939 ;  Ratzel, 
1894;  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio,  1825;  Sao  Jose,  1847;  Souza,  A.,  1870;  Souza,  C,  1874; 
Souza  Franco,  1842 ;  Spix  und  Martius,  1823-31 ;  Tenreiro  Aranha,  1852 ;  Wilkens  de 
Mattos.  1856. 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju 



From  the  beginning,  these  Indians  have  been  known  as  Mura  (pro- 
nounced Murd  by  their  neighbors,  the  Tord  and  Matanawi  of  the  Madeira 
River).  Their  name  for  themselves,  however,  according  to  Barboza 
Rodrigues  (1892  b,  p.  38),  is  Buhuraen,  and  according  to  Father  Tastc- 
vin  (1923  a),  Buxivaray  or  Buxwarahay.  In  the  author's  vocabularies, 
the  following  forms  are  given  as  self -designations :  Bohura  (Manicore 
River)  ;  Bhurai-ada,  meaning  "Mura  language"  (Manicore  River),  and 
Bohurai;  Bohuarai-arase,  "Mura  language" ;  Nahi  huxwara  araha,  mean- 
ing "that  one  is  Mura" ;  Yane  abahi  araha  buxwardi,  "we  are  all  Mura." 

The  Mura  were  first  mentioned  in  1714  in  a  letter  by  P.  Bartholomeu 
Rodrigues  (in  Serafim  Leite,  1943),  who  located  them  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  Madeira  River,  between  the  Tora  and  the  Unicore,  between  lat. 
6°  and  7°  40'  S.  They  were  hostile  toward  the  Jesuit  mission  founded 
in  1723  or  somewhat  later  above  the  mouth  of  the  Jamary  River,  and, 
because  of  this  hostility,  the  mission  was  transferred  farther  down  the 
river  in  1742.  Their  unfriendly  attitude  was  the  result  of  a  treacherous 
act  committed  by  a  Portuguese  trader  who  had  kidnapped  some  of  the 
Mura  and  sold  them  as  slaves. 

For  over  100  years,  beginning  in  the  early  18th  century,  the  Mura 
were  a  terrible  scourge.  The  first  expedition  up  the  Madeira  River  into 
Mato  Grosso,  under  the  leadership  of  Major  Joao  de  Souza,  had  bloody 
encounters  with  the  Mura  and  threw  the  Indians  back  with  great  losses. 
The  Mura  then  avoided  open  battle  and  resorted  to  ambush  for  which 
they  became  famous. 

In  1749,  when  Joao  Gongalves  da  Fonseca's  expedition  had  several  encounters 
with  them,  the  Mura  were  established  on  a  lake  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Madeira 
River,  opposite  the  "mouth  of  the  Autaz"  (Madeirinha,  a  little  above  Borba). 
By  1768  they  had  passed  to  the  region  north  of  the  Solimoes  (Cudajaz)  River, 
but  before  this  date  they  had  extended  to  the  lower  Funis  (Moraes,  1860,  p.  535). 
Upstream,  however,  they  did  not  go  beyond  the  mouth  of  the  Jamary  River. 


256  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

It  seems,  therefore,  that  the  original  habitat  of  the  Mura  was  on  the  Madeira 
River,  below  the  falls  and  near  the  mouth  of  the  Jamary  River;  and  that,  after 
they  had  become  a  warrior  tribe  and  were  aware  of  the  effectiveness  of  their 
tactics,  they  spread  out  downstream  on  the  Madeira  River  and  as  far  as  the 
Purus  River,  and  from  the  latter  as  far  as  the  Cudajaz  River,  which  is  almost 
opposite  (lat.  3°-7'  S.,  long.  50°-63''  W. ;  map  1,  No.  1;  map  4).  Evidently  this 
expansion  was  not  a  move  to  draw  away  from  the  Mundurucu  invasion,  who  at 
that  time,  1768,  were  merely  mentioned  on  the  Maues  River.  The  expansion  of  the 
Mura  was  facilitated  by  the  fact  that  they  found  the  country  only  sparcely  in- 
habited; the  numerous  old  sedentary  tribes  had  succumbed  to  the  "avenging  troops" 
and  to  tlie  mission  system.  Their  weak  remnants,  lacking  any  initiative  and  pride 
against  servitude,  and  concentrated  in  a  few  villages,  did  not  have  the  power  to 
resist  the  attacks  of  savages  conscious  of  their  superiority  as  warriors.  It  seems 
that  the  Autaz  region  from  then  on  began  to  be  the  center  of  the  Mura,  and  it 
remains  so  today.  That  the  Mura  had  been  preceded  in  the  Autaz  by  other  tribes 
of  higher  culture  is  proved  by  the  archeological  remains  found  there  by  Tastevin 
(1923  a)  and  the  present  author.  These  include  a  great  number  of  hardwood 
fishweirs,  anthropomorphic  urns  of  the  Miracanguera  type,  jade  objects,  etc. 

About  1774,  the  warlike  expansion  of  the  Mura  had  reached  its  climax,  and  the 
desperate  Neo-Brazilians  demanded  their  extermination  as  the  only  means  for 
avoiding  the  complete  downfall  of  Amazonas  (Ribeiro  de  Sampaio,  1825).  At 
this  time,  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio  mentions  the  Mura  in  the  following  places :  Silves, 
Madeira  River  (Borba),  Autaz,  Uaquiri  (?),  Manacapuru,  Pures  River,  Cudajaz, 
Mamia,  Coary  River,  Catua,  Caiame  River,  Teffe  River,  Capuca,  Yauato,  Fonte 
Boa,  Japura  River,  Amana,  Manaus,  Jahu  River,  Uinini  River,  and  Carvoeiro. 
Other  authors  add  Obidos,  Moura,  Barcellos,  Nogueira,  Alvaraes,  Maripi,  Ayrao, 
Poiares,  and  Abacaxys.  The  Mura  were  attacked  in  these  places  every  year  by 
Government  forces.  These  punitive  expeditions,  in  spite  of  the  resulting  bloodshed, 
were  not  effective,  and  the  Mura  continued  to  show  their  animosity.  In  1784, 
however,  the  Mura  unexpectedly  made  peace  with  the  Whites.  In  July,  five  Mura 
appeared  peacefully  in  Santo  Antonio  de  Maripi,  on  the  lower  Japura  River  and 
were  followed  later  by  many  more.  Other  Mura  presented  themselves  in  Tefife, 
Alvaraes,  and  Borba.  In  the  latter  place,  where  in  1775  an  Army  outpost  had 
been  created  for  the  protection  of  the  residents  and  travelers  against  their  hostili- 
ties, their  number  grew  in  3  years  to  more  than  1,000.  1786,  the  Mura  of  the 
Cudajaz  came  to  terms,  and  by  the  end  of  the  same  year  the  whole  tribe  had  made 
peace  and  started  to  settle  down  in  permanent  villages. 

The  reason  for  their  peace  overtures  was,  perhaps,  the  gradual  weakening  of 
the  tribe  by  epidemics,  by  the  adoption  of  foreign  elements,  and,  particularly,  by 
the  relentless  war  that  the  Mundurucu  waged  against  them.  The  latter,  crossing 
from  the  Madeira  River  westward,  butchered  the  Mura  in  Autaz  without,  however, 
dislodging  them  permanently  from  a  single  one  of  the  many  places  that  they  had 
occupied.  Even  after  the  pacification,  the  Mura,  according  to  Martins,  spread 
farther  out  upstream  on  the  Solimoes  to  beyond  the  Tabatinga  frontier.  The 
latest  establishments,  about  which  there  is  some  information,  were  on  the  Jandiatuba 
River,  a  little  below  Sao  Paul  de  Olivenga  and  in  the  region  of  the  lower  Amazon 
in  Mura-tapera,  now  called  Oriximina,  on  the  Trombetas  River,  some  35  km.  (22 
miles)  above  the  mouth. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  19th  century,  relations  with  the  Whites  seemed  to  have 
been  generally  good ;  at  least  Canon  Andre  Fernandes  de  Souza,  who  mentions 
them  at  that  time,  does  not  speak  of  recent  hostilities.  According  to  him,  the 
Mura  were  the  only  natives  respected  by  the  civilized  people.  Later,  however,  the 
Mura  resumed  their  hostilities  on  the  Madeira  River. 


During  the  "Cabanagem,"  a  revolt  that  evolved  into  a  general  uprising  of  the 
Indian,  Negro,  and  Mestizo  servants  against  their  White  masters,  the  rebels  won 
the  adherence  of  the  Mura  w^ho,  together  with  them,  robbed,  killed,  and  burned. 
Together  with  the  rebels,  they  were  defeated  and  massacred,  1834-36.  Friction  be- 
tween the  Mura  of  the  Madeira  and  the  civilized  people  continued  for  a  long 
time  after  the  revolt.  The  report  by  Governor  Tenreiro  Aranha  in  1852  contains 
many  complaints  against  members  of  this  tribe,  who  committed  horrible  crimes 
against  defenseless  people.  The  governor  sent  reinforcements  to  the  military  out- 
post in  Mataura,  commissioned  a  well-armed  river  patrol,  and  appropriated  the 
amount  of  1,308  milreis  for  mission  work.  None  of  these  missions  (Sao  Pedro, 
Crato,  Manicore)  lasted  long.  The  last  acts  of  hostilities  on  record  on  the  Madeira 
refer  to  the  killing  of  a  soldier  and  two  slaves  of  the  Crato  missionary  by  the 
Mtitra  of  the  Capana  in  1855.  Later,  the  Mura  gathered  on  Ongas  Island  for  the 
purpose  of  attacking  travelers. 

The  author  of  "Illustragao"  (Anonymous,  ms.  a)  estimated  the  number  of  Mura 
at  60,000  at  the  time  of  the  pacification.  This  number  is  no  doubt  too  high,  as 
is  30,000  to  40,000  given  by  Martius  in  1820  (Spix  and  Martins,  1823-31,  vol.  3). 
Estimates  based  on  the  report  of  Albuquerque  Lacerda  showed  that  the  Mura  did 
not  exceed  3,000  in  1864.  In  1926,  the  present  author  counted  1,390  inhabitants 
occupying  26  Mura  huts  on  the  Madeira,  Autaz,  and  Urubii  Rivers.  The  total 
number  might  have  been  1,600. 

The  Mura  never  expanded  very  much  on  land.  Even  during  the  time  of  their 
greatest  extension,  they  always  sought  the  low  floodlands  of  the  shores  of  the 
Amazon-Solimoes  River  and  its  tributaries,  and  similar  lands  on  the  Rio  Negro 
and  Japura,  Solimoes,  Madeira,  Purus,  and  Amazon  Rivers.  They  settled  only 
where  they  could  move  about  in  canoes,  choosing  spots  where  they  could  build 
their  villages,  plant  their  crops,  and  hunt.  Throughout  their  known  history,  they 
can  be  characterized  as  a  canoeing  and  fishing  people. 

The  Mura  are  today  so  much  crossed  with  Neo-Brazilians  that  it  is  impossible 
to  determine  their  original  physical  type.  Truly  Negroid  types,  however,  are  rare. 
In  the  area  of  Yuma  Lake,  the  author  found,  in  1926,  a  relatively  large  percentage 
of  individuals  of  Indian  type,  characterized  by  an  arched  nose  and  receding  chin. 
When  the  Mura  made  peace  in  1784,  they  had  already  absorbed  many  foreign 
ethnic  elements  from  people  who  had  sought  refuge  among  them  or  who  had  been 
captured  by  them.  Large  groups  of  other  tribes,  such  as  the  Jufmtna  and  Iruri,  were 
with  the  Mura  at  that  time.  The  Jumana  belonged  to  the  Arawakan  family,  and 
both  the  Jumana  and  Iruri  had  a  more  advanced  culture  than  the  Mura.  We  do 
not  know  the  influence  of  these  foreign  elements  on  Mura  culture. 


After  their  pacification,  the  Mura  began  to  adopt  the  Lingua  Geral, 
but  at  the  time  of  Martius'  trip,  this  language  was  little  used.  In  1850 
they  could  speak  it,  but  used  the  Mura  language  among  themselves. 
Later  they  substituted  Portuguese  for  the  Lingua  Geral,  and  now  the 
majority  of  the  groups  use  Portuguese.  Some  groups  still  speak  the 
Lingua  Geral  among  themselves,  but  only  occasional  individuals  know 
the  Mura  language.    In  many  groups  it  has  disappeared  completely. 

Martius'  contention  that  most  of  the  words  of  the  Mura  language  are  of 
Tupian  origin  has  remained  unsubstantiated.  Even  the  number  of  ele- 
ments adopted  from  the  Lingua  Geral  is  strangely  small.    Most  noticeable 

258  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

are  the  regular  use  of  the  first  and  second  singular,  personal  pronouns, 
and  first  person  plural  of  Lingua  Geral. 

According  to  most  linguists  (Ehrenreich,  Chamberlain,  Rivet,  Lou- 
kotka),  the  Mura  language  is  isolated.  The  fact  mentioned  by  the  present 
author  that  the  Matanawi  language  has  a  scant  half-dozen  words  in  com- 
mon with  the  Mura  does  not  mean  that  the  two  languages  should  be  con- 
sidered, as  by  Rivet  (1924,  p.  673)  and  Loukotka  (1939,  p.  154),  as 
members  of  the  same  family.  Only  the  following  vocabularies  have  been 
published:  Martins  (1867,  2:20),  Nimuendaju  and  Valle  Bentes  (1923), 
and  Nimuendaju  (1925,  1932  b). 



Farming. — The  Mura  practiced  farming  before  their  pacification,  but 
only  on  a  small  scale.  According  to  Fonseca  Coutinho  (1873),  they  had 
large  manioc  and  maize  fields  on  the  Autaz  River,  Moreover,  A.  F.  de 
Souza  (1870)  mentions  mandioca  plantations  of  the  Mura  on  the  Matu- 
piry,  a  tributary  of  the  Madeira  River,  at  the  beginning  of  the  19th  cen- 
tury. The  author  of  "Observaijoes  addicionais"  (Anonymous,  ms.  a,  pt.  2) 
says  that  they  did  not  plant  anything,  but  looted  the  crops  of  others  to 
make  a  fine  manioc  flour.  This,  however,  presupposes  that  they  already 
had  pans,  sieves,  and  tipiti  baskets.  This,  together  with  the  Jara  ceremony 
(see  below),  suggests  that  they  were  acquainted  with  manioc  and  its 
preparation.  Very  likely  at  war  time  they  found  it  more  convenient  to 
steal  tubers  than  to  plant  them. 

Hunting  and  fishing. — The  gathering  of  wild  fruit  was  also  important 
in  their  economy,  but  above  all  the  Mura  were  fishermen.  Their  skill 
was  admired  not  only  by  the  civilized  people  but  by  their  Indian  neigh- 
bors, such  as  the  Catazvishi,  who  were  also  fishermen.  The  Mura  caught 
turtles  under  water  by  hand,  and  after  harpooning  pirarucu  (Arapaima 
gigas)  and  manatee,  they  pursued  them  between  obstacles  of  aquatic  plants 
and  fallen  trees.  The  importance  of  the  harpoon  here  suggests  that  they 
had  been  acquainted  with  this  weapon  for  a  long  time.  In  order  to  bring 
a  dead  manatee  aboard  their  canoes,  they  swamped  the  craft  so  as  to 
push  it  under  the  floating  animal  and  then  floated  it  again  by  emptying  it. 

They  knew  the  use  of  the  babracot,  but  preferred  to  roast  their  meat 
buried  in  the  ashes  or  on  a  spit. 


The  Mura  build  their  houses  in  small  groups  of  two  to  five,  which  some- 
times are  scattered  far  apart  along  the  shore  of  a  lake  or  river.  They 
rarely  live  in  isolated  huts.  According  to  Tastevin  (1923  a),  five  or  six 
families  live  in  a  hut,  but  the  author  noted  that  this  occurs  only  in  excep- 


tional  cases,  each  family  usually  having  its  own  hut.  These  houses  are  not 
as  poorly  made  as  it  has  often  been  stated,  and  many  of  them  do  not  differ 
from  the  huts  of  the  poorer  Neo-Brazilians  of  the  region.  The  area  sur- 
rounding the  houses  is  not  generally  kept  clean. 

Judging  from  a  drawing  in  Martins'  Atlas,  the  original  Mura  hut  seems 
to  have  been  dome-shaped,  with  the  rafters  reaching  to  the  ground  and 
thatched  with  vertical  palm  leaves. 

The  anonymous  author  of  "Observaqoes  addicionais"  (Anon.,  ms.  a, 
pt.  2)  states  that  as  a  rule  their  real  home  is  their  canoe,  and  the  present 
writer  noticed  in  1926  that  the  Mura  of  the  Juma  River  slept  on  a  platform 
in  the  canoe. 

It  seems  probable  that  formerly  the  Mura  slept  on  platforms  such  as 
those  described  by  Father  Tastevin  (1923)  and  not  in  hammocks. 

The  early  writers  report  that  the  Mura  hammocks  consisted  only  of 
three  cords,  a  central  one  to  support  the  weight  of  the  body  and  lateral 
ones  to  maintain  the  equilibrium.  This  is  obviously  a  satire  of  their  indo- 
lence. Other  information  is  more  plausible.  Ferreira  states  that  in  1875 
their  sleeping  hammocks  were  made  of  fibers  of  inner  tree  bark.  Alfred  R. 
Wallace  (1853)  says  that  they  were  made  of  three  strips  of  embira,  and 
Martius  that  they  were  made  of  a  piece  of  bark  (innerbark)  shaped  like 
a  canoe.  Bates  (1863,  p.  305)  describes  a  Mura  hammock  as  a  "rudely 
woven  web  of  ragged  strips  of  the  inner  bark  of  the  monguba  tree"  {Bom- 
hax  sp.).  Later  it  seems  that  the  Mura  imitated  the  hammocks  of  neigh- 
boring tribes  and  of  the  Neo-Brazilians.  Father  W.  Schmidt  (1913) 
mentions  a  tucum  hammock  of  the  Mura  in  the  Museum  of  Vienna,  and 
the  author  saw  two  hammocks  on  the  Juma  River  made  of  jauary  (Astro- 
caryum  sp.)  fibers. 


Both  sexes  were  completely  naked,  although  one  of  Cavina's  water 
colors  (Ferreira,  n.  d.,  pi.  3^)  shows  an  apron  of  twisted  embira  or  burity 
fibers  which  is  suspended  from  a  belt  and  the  upper  part  of  which  appears 
braided ;  the  upper  border  is  ornamented  with  a  band  of  white  zigzags 
over  a  red  background.  The  ears  and  septum  were  pierced  and  pieces 
of  cane  passed  through  the  holes.  The  upper  lip  was  perforatd  above 
the  corners  of  the  mouth,  while  the  lower  lip  was  perforated  in  the  center. 
In  these  holes  the  Mura  inserted  animal  teeth  or  wooden  pegs.  Accord- 
ing to  Ferreira,  the  lip  ornaments  are  of  stone  found  in  pirarucu  brains ; 
in  the  paintings,  they  are  small,  whitish,  and  somewhat  three-lobed. 
They  wore  their  hair  trimmed  along  the  forehead  at  the  level  of  the  eye- 
brows and  long  behind.  It  was  usually  disheveled. 

They  painted  themselves  with  urucu  and  with  a  black  pigment.  Some- 
time they  smeared  themselves  with  mud  as  a  protection  against  insects. 

^  Ferreira,  who  was  a  member  of  the  first  expedition  to  encounter  the  Mura,  described  this  plate 
as  follows:  "Um  dos  gentios  Muras  que  pelo  meiado  do  mez  de  Novembro  do  anno  proximo  passado 
de  1786  aportaram  no  logar  de  Ayrao." 

260  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


Mura  canoes  were  formerly  made  of  tree  bark  and  were  6.6  m.  (about 
22  ft.)  long,  1.1  m.  (3.25  ft.)  wide,  and  44  cm.  (17  in.)  deep.  The  ends 
were  tied  up  with  creepers.  These  craft  carried  four  or  five  people.  The 
original  type  of  paddle  is  unknown.  When  not  in  use,  the  canoes  were 
kept  submerged  so  as  to  be  hidden  from  any  enemy  and  so  that  they 
would  not  dry  up  and  crack.  The  fire-hollowed  dugout,  at  first  stolen 
from  the  Neo-Brazilians  and  later  made  by  themselves,  finally  replaced 
bark  canoes. 


Mats  and  basketry. — The  Mura  used  large  mats  on  their  beds  and  in 
their  canoes,  and  smaller  ones  to  sit  on.  Carrying  baskets  were  made  of 
two  interwoven  palm  leaves. 

Pottery  and  gourds. — According  to  Martius,  the  Mura  had  pottery, 
but  he  does  not  say  if  they  made  it.  The  present  writer  has  never  seen 
any  ware  made  by  them.  He  did,  however,  see  gourds  which  had  been 
dyed  black  on  the  inside  and  crudely  carved  on  the  outside. 

Weapons. — The  only  weapon  was  the  bow  and  arrow.  The  bow 
measured  2.7  m.  (9  feet)  according  to  Joao  Daniel  (1841,  p.  168)  and 
2  m.  (6  feet)  according  to  Southey  (1862,  6:248-249).  The  back  is 
strongly  convex,  the  belly  only  moderately  so.  W.  Schmidt  (1913)  de- 
scribes the  feathering  as  radial  and  cemented.  Fishing  arrows  lacked 
feathering.  War  arrows  were  formerly  tipped  with  lanceolate  bamboo 
heads  33  cm.  (13  in.)  long  and  10  cm.  (4  in.)  wide,  with  two  large 
barbs  on  each  side.  Now  they  have  iron  heads.  The  author  found  arrows 
made  of  a  single  piece  of  paxiuba  on  Lake  Sampaio.  An  arrow  figured 
by  Therese  von  Bayern  (1897,  pi.  2,  fig.  4)  has  arched  feathering  and 
is  tipped  with  a  rod  notched  along  the  side.  The  Mura  in  Covina's 
picture  is  armed  with  two  arrows,  each  with  a  broad  wooden  point  that 
has  four  or  five  pairs  of  barbs,  and,  protruding  beyond  this  point,  another 
lanceolate  point  of  bamboo. 


When  the  Mura  made  peace  in  1786,  they  were  divided  into  many 
groups,  each  numbering  45  to  150  persons  and  having  its  own  chief.  The 
26  groups  visited  and  counted  by  the  author  in  1926  averaged  53  persons 
and  ranged  from  15  to  120.  Chieftainship  was  formerly  hereditary,  but 
carried  little  authority.  According  to  the  author  of  "Illustragao,"  (Anon- 
ymous, ms.  a)  the  Mura  rendered  to  the  chief  "respect  and  obedience 
as  to  a  father."  A  tuft  of  yellow  and  black  feathers  tied  to  the  forehead 
might  have  been  a  distinctive  chief's  ornament  (Martius,  1867).  Aftei 
the  pacification,  the  principal  chief  of  the  Mura  lived  at  Amatary,  on  the 


left  bank  of  the  Amazon,  somewhat  above  the  mouth  of  the  Madeira 

Each  family  head  had  his  private  fishing  ground  which  he  would  defend 
against  any  poacher.  In  quarrels  over  fishing  groups,  disputants  fought 
each  other  with  the  clubs,  which  a  Mura  always  carried  in  his  canoe  to 
stun  the  fish  after  they  are  caught. 


Pregnancy  and  childbirth. — During  a  woman's  pregnancy  there  are 
no  restrictions  on  her  husband.  Formerly,  during  childbirth,  the  woman 
would  sit  on  a  "log  of  a  certain  wood  burned  all  over  its  surface  as  char- 
coal." Such  logs  were  carried  in  the  canoe,  so  that  a  trip  might  not  be 
interrupted  by  childbirth  ("Observagoes  addicionais,"  Anonymous, 
ms.  a,  pt.  2) .  After  childbirth,  the  father  stays  at  home.  He  fasts  for  5  days 
and  the  mother  for  a  longer  period.  The  size  of  the  fish  which  the 
father  may  eat  increases  as  the  baby  grows.  Until  the  child  can  walk, 
the  father  may  not  hunt  and  eat  his  kill  lest  during  his  absence  the  boto 
{Sotalia  brasiliensis)  and  the  jaguar  come  invisibly  and  take  revenge 
by  killing  the  child.  The  author  learned  that  if  the  father  were  to  hunt 
a  caiman,  boto,  otter,  or  anhima  (Anhima  cornuta)  before  the  child 
could  walk,  these  animals  would  steal  the  child's  shadow.  Herndon  and 
Gibbons  (1853-54,  vol.  1.)  mention  cases  of  infanticide,  but  the  present 
writer  was  impressed  by  the  kind  treatment  of  children. 

Puberty. — From  the  beginning  of  the  first  menstruation  until  the  end 
of  the  second  menstruation,  the  girl  is  confined  in  a  corner  of  the  hut 
where  she  lies  in  her  hammock. 

The  passage  from  childhood  to  adulthood  was  marked  by  a  ceremony 
in  which  boys  were  permitted  for  the  first  time  to  take  parica  snuff. 
(See  p.  263.)     The  boy  was  also  flagellated  (p.  264). 

Marriage. — The  aboriginal  Mura  had  only  one  wife  "whom  they  loved 
with  tenderness  and  guarded  with  savage  jealousy"  ("Observagoes  ad- 
dicionais". Anonymous,  ms.  a,  pt.  2;  see  also  Spix  and  Martius,  1823- 
31,  vol.  3).  It  seems  that  the  Mura  later  became  polygynous.  Spix  and 
Martius  (1823-31,  vol.  3)  and  Wallace  (1889)  stated  that  every  man  had 
two  or  three  wives,  who  were  kept  in  abject  servitude.  They  were  acquired 
as  prizes  in  boxing  matches  between  the  girl's  suitors,  which  were  fought 
as  soon  as  she  had  reached  puberty.  In  earlier  times,  murder  of  wife 
stealers  was  sanctioned ;  later,  such  offenders  were  less  severely  punished. 

Present-day  Mura  still  feel  honered  if  a  person  whom  they  esteem 
courts  an  unmarried  daughter,  and  they  allow  the  girls  of  the  tribe  a  great 
deal  of  liberty.  Today  a  request  for  marriage  is  made  by  the  young  man 
to  the  girl's  parents,  who  sometimes  demand  of  him  some  service.  The 
marriage  is  concluded  without  any  formality  and,  according  to  Tastevin, 
is  easily  dissolved.     Marital  fidelity  is  not  strictly  observed. 

262  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Funeral  rites. — Formerly,  a  person  was  buried  with  all  his  possessions 
wherever  he  happened  to  die.  At  the  beginning  of  the  present  century, 
the  Miira  of  Murutinga  (Autaz)  still  erected  a  small  hut  over  the  tomb, 
even  in  Christian  cemeteries,  and  placed  food,  drink,  and  the  weapons 
of  the  deceased  on  the  grave.  The  mangoes  which  grew  in  the  cemetery 
were  reserved  for  the  dead. 


For  half  a  century  the  Mnra  waged  unceasing  war  against  the  civilized 
Indians  and  the  Neo-Brazilians.  According  to  Martins,  they  declared 
war  against  occasional  enemies  by  planting  arrows,  head  upward,  in  the 
ground  in  the  territory  of  the  rival  tribe.  Attacks  were  made  silently. 
They  ambushed  canoes  near  rapids  where  travelers  were  forced  to  draw- 
near  the  shore,  watching  the  approach  of  their  victims  from  the  tops  of 
sumauma  trees  {Ceiha  pentandra).  They  also  ambushed  enemies  on  the 
paths  leading  to  the  plantations.  In  the  onslaught,  they  did  not  pay  any 
attention  to  age  or  sex.  They  mutilated  the  bodies,  but  did  not  bring 
home  any  trophies,  and  they  have  never  been  seriously  accused  of  can- 
nibalism. According  to  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio  (1825),  they  took  prisoners 
to  enslave  them,  but  it  is  more  likely  that  they  incorporated  them  in  the 
tribe.  At  the  time  of  the  pacification,  the  most  important  Mura  chief 
was  a  civilized  Indian,  who  had  been  captured  as  a  child  and  reared  by 
Whites.  His  mother,  also  a  captive,  acted  as  an  interpreter  during  the 
peace  negotiations. 

By  the  end  of  the  18th  century,  the  Mura's  most  feared  enemies  were 
the  Mundurucu,  who  had  come  from  the  region  of  the  Tapajoz  River, 
sailed  down  the  Canuma  and  Abacaxys  Rivers,  and  established  them- 
selves on  the  Madeira  River  at  Tobocal  near  the  mouth  of  the  Aripuana 
River.  It  is  probable  that  the  Mura's  defeat  by  the  Mundurucu  con- 
tributed greatly  to  their  pacification.  According  to  Martins,  the  Mura 
feared  the  Mundurucu  so  much  that  they  did  not  even  resist  when  the 
latter  came  for  their  women. 


Musical  instruments. — The  Mura  used  a  kind  of  clarinet,  commonly 
called  tore,  made  of  a  thick  bamboo,  and  a  five-hole  bamboo  flute.  The 
latter  was  used  for  transmitting  messages  about  a  great  variety  of  mat- 
ters (Marcoy,  1866,  and  Anonymous,  ms.  a). 

Dances  and  songs. — The  dance  witnessed  by  Martius  was  an  imitation 
of  the  Neo-Brazilian  dance,  and  the  songs  which  accompanied  it  were 
in  the  Lingua  Geral.  The  dances  in  vogue  in  Tastevin's  time  (1923  a) 
are  identical  to  those  of  the  Mura's  civilized  neighbors.  Southey  (1862, 
6:348),  however,  speaks  of  an  original  dance  in  which  the  Indians  were 


arranged  in  two  lines.  Those  of  one  line  were  armed  with  bows  and 
arrows;  the  Indians  of  the  other  line  were  painted,  and  blew  on  long 
bamboo  flutes.  A  man  led  the  dance  with  grotesque  gestures.  In  1926, 
the  Mura  of  the  Juma  River  performed  a  nocturnal  circle  dance  accom- 
panied by  the  tore  clarinet,  and  by  songs  about  the  sloth  {Brady pus  sp.) 
After  the  dance,  the  men  gathered  on  one  side  of  the  ring  and  women 
on  the  other  to  bleed  each  other  with  sharp  pirarucu  and  tambaqui  fish- 

Narcotics. — Parica,  made  from  the  roasted  seeds  of  the  parica  tree 
{Mimosa  acacioides),  is  the  most  powerful  narcotic  used  by  the  Mura. 
It  was  taken  either  as  a  snuff  or  as  an  enema.  As  a  snuff,  it  was  blown 
into  the  nostrils  by  means  of  a  tube  1  foot  (31  cm.)  long  made  of  tapir 
bone  or  a  bird's  leg  bone.  The  powder  was  kept  in  a  large  bamboo  tube 
and  the  doses  measured  out  with  an  caiman  tooth.  It  caused  a  general 
state  of  excitement  and  exaltation  with  auditory  hallucinations,  and  a 
condition  of  feverish  activity  which  ended  with  prostration  or  uncon- 
sciousness. According  to  Martins,  individuals  who  were  over-excited  by 
the  narcotic  and  suffocated  died  on  the  spot.  "Observaqoes  addicionais" 
states  that  on  the  morning  following  a  narcotic  spree,  the  bodies  of  per- 
sons were  often  found  shot  with  arrows  or  stabbed  with  knives.  These 
murders  were  not  considered  as  crimes  and  were  blamed  on  the  parica. 

Parica  taken  as  an  enema  by  means  of  a  rubber  syringe  had  a  similar 
but  weaker  effect.  The  participants  in  groups  of  ten  sat  in  circles  while 
old  women  held  a  vase  containing  the  liquid  and  passed  the  syringe  from 
hand  to  hand.  To  increase  the  effect,  the  enema  was  accompanied  by 
singing,  "He!  He!"  (Marcoy,  1866).  The  drunken  men  danced  and 
threatened  each  other  with  weapons,  which  the  women  always  tried  to 
remove  from  the  parica  house.  Present-day  Mura  still  snuff  parica  but 
take  less  of  it  than  before.  A  bamboo  tube  is  used  for  the  purpose 
(Nunes  Pereira,  personal  communication). 

The  ancient  Mura  prepared  manioc  chicha.  Today  they  have  acquired 
two  dangerous  vices  which  have  contributed  to  their  moral  and  physical 
degradation:  rum,  from  the  White;  and  liamj)a  (hashish),  from  the 
Negroes  (Tastevin,  1923  a,  p.  517).  A  large  part  of  the  payment  which 
they  receive  for  their  services  is  rum  and  liamba,  in  exchange  for  which 
they  are  willing  to  surrender  to  the  Neo-Brazilians  their  last  bit  of  food. 
Then  they  spend  day  after  day  in  a  state  of  torpor,  unable  to  work. 


Little  is  known  about  Mura  religion  with  the  exception  of  a  few  cere- 
monies and  magico-religious  practices.  Today  the  tribe  is  Christian,  but 
its  adherence  to  the  Church  lies  only  in  the  knowledge  of  a  few  saints,  the 
ceremony  of  baptism,  and  the  celebration  of  some  feasts. 

264  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  Parica  feast. — Martius  denies  that  parica  was  taken  at  puberty 
initiations  and  links  it  instead  to  the  ripening  of  the  parica  seeds.  Marcoy 
(1866)  says  that  anyone  who  had  parica  would  invite  others  to  the  parica 
house,  an  open  shelter  built  for  the  purpose  and  forbidden  to  women. 
The  great  parica  feast  was  preceded  by  a  hunt  which  lasted  one  week. 
The  feast  began  with  flagellation,  after  which  came  libations  of  a  non- 
alcoholic beverage  made  with  the  fruit  of  the  acahy  palm.  Then  parica 
was  taken,  first  in  the  form  of  snuff  and  afterward  as  an  enema.  The 
feast  ended  with  a  dance  which  lasted  24  hours.  Marcoy's  description  of 
the  feast  contains  obvious  inaccuracies. 

Martius  gives  second-hand  information  about  this  ceremony.  The  feast 
was  celebrated  every  year  and  lasted  for  8  days.  It  began  with  the 
drinking  of  cauim  and  other  intoxicants.  Then  pairs  of  men  flagellated 
each  other  with  a  long  leather  thong  of  tapir  and  manatee  hide.  This 
continued  for  several  days.  Afterward  the  partners  kneeled  in  front  of 
each  other  and  blew  parica  powder  into  each  other's  nostrils  by  means 
of  a  tapir  bone  tube.    ( See  Martius,  1867,  fig.  63. ) 

Punishment  rites. — The  flagellation  rite  was  also  practiced  during  the 
full  moon,  its  purpose  being  to  increase  one's  strength.  One  man  would 
hold  the  victim  with  his  arms  outstretched  while  the  old  man  who  per- 
formed the  flagellations  in  the  puberty  ceremonies  would  whip  him  with 
a  few  lashings  on  the  arms  and  legs. 

After  burning  the  brush  for  planting,  the  Mura  performed  a  flagellation 
ceremony  in  order  to  increase  the  output  of  manioc.  They  brought  in  a 
pile  of  whips  made  of  jara  palm  (Leopoldina  pulchra),  and  the  men 
surrounded  the  houses,  seizing  all  the  grown  children,  whose  parents  could 
not  interfere.  Each  was  held  by  two  men,  and  forced  to  lean  forward. 
A  very  old  man  sang,  danced,  and  finally  whipped  the  children's  backs  with 
the  jara  whips. 

In  order  to  make  young  boys  successful  in  fishing,  the  Mura  take  them 
to  a  tucandeira  ant's  nest  and  force  them  to  expose  a  hand  to  the  sting  of 
the  ants. 

Shamanism. — In  Wallace's  time,  1850,  Mura  shamans  were  highly 
regarded  as  men  of  great  ability.  They  were  feared  and  their  services  were 
always  well  paid.  The  shamans  observed  by  Tastevin  and  the  present 
author  are  faithful  counterparts  of  the  Neo-Brazilian  shamans  of  that 
region,  and  have  no  aboriginal  features. 

Ornaments  and  preparations  with  magic  power  have  been  reported 
among  the  Juma  River  Mura.  A  caraiperana  (Rosaceae)  seed  necklace 
offers  protection  against  grippe  and  headaches.  A  necklace  made  of 
"tears  of  Our  Lady"  wards  off  eye  disease.  Painting  the  face  with  urucu 
protects  against  chickenpox.  Juparana  leaves  were  used  against  malaria. 
According  to  Spix  and  Martius  ( 1823-31,  vol.  3) ,  the  Mura  used  a  monkey 
penis  as  a  charm  against  fever. 



Some  fragments  of  Mura  cosmogony  have  been  collected  by  Father 
Tastevin  (1923  a)  and  the  author.  Heaven  is  a  world,  somewhat  like  the 
earth,  where  souls  live  and  die  and  where  the  fearsome  thunder  resides. 
There  is  also  a  nether  world,  which  is  an  aquatic  region.  The  moon  is 
female  during  14  days,  when  women  have  greater  vigor,  and  male  during 
a  like  period,  when  men  are  especially  strong. 

The  waters  of  the  earth  are  connected  to  those  of  heaven ;  when  there 
is  a  flood  on  the  earth,  the  waters  ebb  in  heaven,  and  vice  versa. 

The  coal  sack  near  the  Southern  Cross  is  a  manatee  carrying  on  its 
back  a  fisherman  (Alpha  and  Beta  Crucis  of  the  Southern  Cross),  whose 
canoe  was  upset  by  the  fish,  while  his  companion  (Alpha  and  Beta  of 
Centaurus)  is  getting  ready  to  throw  the  harpoon.  The  lightest  part  of 
the  Milky  Way  is  foam  worked  up  by  the  manatee  in  the  water. 

The  origin  of  the  rainbow  is  explained  as  follows :  A  woman  carried  in 
her  womb  two  snakes  that  would  climb  trees,  bring  her  fruits,  and  return 
into  her.  Her  husband  killed  them,  and  they  went  up  to  the  sky,  where 
they  became  the  upper  and  lower  rainbows.  The  rainbow  is  also  con- 
ceived as  the  mouth  of  a  large  snake  through  which  souls  enter  heaven. 
So  as  to  obtain  free  passage,  a  coin  is  placed  in  the  mouth  of  the  deceased. 
If  the  latter  is  very  poor,  a  fig  is  used  instead.  The  master  of  the  rainbow 
snake  is  called  kaai  tuhui. 

The  following  are  some  Mura  myths : 

The  flood. — Men  escaped  the  rising  flood  in  canoes  and  found  a  high 
rock,  where  they  gathered,  subsisting  on  the  animals  which  also  had  taken 
refuge  there.  After  the  deluge  had  passed,  they  could  not  find  their  way 
home  until  a  shaman  took  them  there. 

The  great  fire. — There  was  once  a  world  conflagration,  from  which 
only  one  family  escaped.  The  man  had  dug  a  deep  cave,  provided  it  with 
30  pitchers  of  water,  and  erected  a  house  of  wood  and  straw  inside  it. 
He  closed  the  entrance  with  stone.  The  fire  passed  above  the  cave,  and 
it  was  intensely  hot  in  the  pit.  Two  weeks  later,  the  stone  was  still  hot, 
and  the  family  did  not  emerge  until  the  stone  was  cool  enough  to  move. 
The  earth  was  deserted  and  had  no  water  or  plants.  The  man  built  a  hut, 
but  he  worried  because  only  10  pitchers  of  water  remained.  Then  the 
Holy  Ghost  came  with  drums  and  flags,  and  the  Indian  obtained  water 
from  him.  He  got  fish  from  Saint  Anthony,  palm  trees  from  Saint  John, 
and  manioc  from  Saint  Peter.  The  last  ordered  him  to  lie  down  on  his 
back  and  when  he  turned  around  he  saw  that  the  manioc  had  already 
grown  a  foot.  On  the  left  bank  of  the  Amazon  near  Manaos  the  dry  and 
stunned  vegetation  bears  witness  to  the  great  fire. 

The  prisoners  of  the  pigs. — A  newly  married  man  went  pig  hunting. 
When  he  killed  a  sow,  the  aroused  animals  forced  him  to  climb  a  tree. 
They  dug  up  the  roots  of  the  tree,  and  when  it  fell  they  carried  him  away. 

266  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  pig's  mother,  a  small  red  animal,  kept  him  with  her.  When  they  went 
past  uixu,  burity,  and  biriba  trees  they  asked  him  whether  he  ate  these 
fruits,  and  he  answered  that  he  did.  The  pigs  then  assumed  a  human 
shape.  He  had  to  sleep  among  them.  When  he  arose,  they  did  the  same 
and  grunted  and  sniffed.  After  2  months,  he  managed  to  escape  by 
climbing  a  tree  and  jumping  from  branch  to  branch.  He  carried  away 
the  pig's  flute.  After  he  had  returned  home,  he  invited  his  wife,  his 
brother,  and  brother-in-law  to  hunt  pigs.  While  they  remained  in  the 
canoe,  he  blew  twice  on  his  flute.  Soon  a  large  herd  of  pigs  came  running 
toward  him,  and  he  killed  as  many  as  he  wanted.  His  other  brother 
returned  from  a  trip  and  inquired  how  he  obtained  so  many  pigs.  Then 
the  brother  took  the  flute  and,  saying  that  the  other  was  a  fool  for  having 
allowed  the  pigs  to  take  him  prisoner,  he  went  ashore,  blowing  the  flute. 
The  pigs  killed  him  and  took  the  flute  back. 


The  Pirahd  (Pirianaus,  Piaarhaus,  Piraheus,  Piriahai,  Piriaha,  Piriaha, 
Pinyaha,  Iviridyarohu,  "lords  of  fiber  rope,"  i.e.,  armbands,  Ivirapa-poku, 
"long  bow,"  and  Tapii,  "strangers")  is  a  subtribe  of  the  Mura,  which 
speaks  a  distinct  dialect.  It  has  evidently  always  occupied  its  present 
habitat  between  lat.  6°25'  and  7°  10'  S.,  along  the  lower  Maicy  River  and 
at  Estirao  Grande  do  Marmellos,  below  this  river's  mouth. 

The  Pirahd  have  remained  the  least  acculturated  Mura  tribe,  but  they 
are  known  only  through  a  short  word  list  and  unpublished  notes  obtained 
by  the  author  during  several  brief  contacts  in  1922,  when  efforts  were 
being  made  to  pacify  the  Parintintin. 

The  dialects  of  the  Pirahd  and  Mura  of  Manicore  are  mutually  intel- 
ligible, and  differences  in  these  dialects  appearing  in  the  author's  vocabu- 
lary may  be  partly  attributable  to  informant  difficulties.  In  a  few  instances, 
the  Mura  "r"  becomes  "g"  in  the  Pirahd  dialect. 

The  Pirahd  are  mentioned  by  Ferreira  Penna  (1853)  in  1853,  by 
Orton  (1875,  p.  470)  in  1873,  and  by  Barboza  Rodrigues  (1892  b)  in 
1885,  the  last  describing  them  as  the  fiercest  of  all  the  Mura. 

In  1923,  they  numbered  around  90.  In  1921,  the  "Servigo  de  Protegcao 
aos  Indios"  established  a  center  to  give  them  aid  but,  apparently  content 
with  their  present  state,  these  Indians  have  shown  little  inclination  to 
acquire  European  culture.  Except  for  a  few  implements,  they  show 
almost  no  sign  of  any  permanent  contact  with  civilized  people.  They 
showed  no  interest  in  the  utensils  and  clothing  given  them  by  the  Serviqo 
de  Protecqao  aos  Indios.  Neither  did  they  steal.  In  fact,  no  two  tribes 
offer  a  more  striking  contrast  than  the  Pirahd  and  their  neighbors,  the 


Parintintin.  The  latter  were  active,  clever,  greedy  for  new  things,  ambi- 
tious, and  thieving. 

In  general,  the  author  found  the  Pirahd  dull  and  unresponsive.  Their 
sullenness  made  field  research  among  them  difficult.  Their  indifference 
and  aloofness  is  probably  more  apparent  than  real,  and  seems  to  stem  from 
their  deep  resentment  at  seeing  their  old  enemies,  the  Parintintin,  being 
favored  by  the  governmental  authorities,  whereas  they,  who  had  never 
been  hostile  to  the  Neo-Brazilians,  were  treated  with  much  less  regard. 

The  vocabulary  collected  among  them  never  exceeded  71  words.  The 
Pirahd  appeared  to  be  completely  indifferent  as  linguistic  informants.  In 
spite  of  several  decades  of  contact  with  Neo-Brazilians,  their  knowledge  of 
Portuguese  and  of  the  Lingua  Geral  never  exceeded  a  dozen  words. 


Barboza  Rodrigues  (1892  b)  divides  the  Mura  into  Pirahens  (Pirahd), 
Burahens,  and  the  Jahaahens  (Yahahi),  giving  for  the  location  of  the  last 
the  Solimoes  River.  The  Tord  and  Maranawi,  who  inhabit  the  lower 
Marmellos,  call  the  Yahahi  a  subtribe  of  the  Mura,  which  they  say  used 
to  live  on  the  Branco  River,  a  tributary  of  the  right  bank  of  the  upper 
Marmellos.  The  last  survivors  of  the  Yahahi  joined  the  Pirahd. 



The  Pirahd  grew  maize,  sweet  manioc  (macaxera),  a  kind  of  yellow 
squash  (jurumum),  watermelon,  and  cotton.  They  were  also  excellent 
hunters  and  fishermen.  The  only  aboriginal  fishing  technique  observed 
among  them  was  shooting  fish  with  an  arrow ;  however,  the)'^  used  fish- 
hooks obtained  from  civilized  people.  They  ate  Brazil  nuts  and  wild  fruit, 
and  they  liked  honey  mixed  with  water.   They  did  not  drink  rum. 


The  dwellings  of  the  Pirahd  were  rudimentary  and  badly  constructed. 
Some  were  merely  a  poorly  thatched  roof  covering  a  rude  platform  which 
served  as  a  floor.  As  the  huts  were  built  on  the  beach  slopes,  the  downhill 
ends  of  the  flooring  poles  rested  on  a  horizontal  pole  supported  on  two 
forked  posts,  while  the  uphill  ends  were  stuck  in  the  sand  of  the  slope. 
On  this  platform  were  strewn  one  or  more  straw  mats.  The  palm  leaves 
of  the  roof  were  thrown  at  random  over  a  still  lighter  framework,  resting 
on  four  small  forks  about  5  to  6J/^  feet  (Ij^  to  2  m.)  above  the  first.  The 
rain  beat  in  everywhere  as  there  were  no  walls.  Similar,  but  larger,  huts 
were  sometimes  placed  side  by  side  in  twos  or  threes.     In  the  summer, 


268  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

one  saw  huts  in  little  groups  on  the  beaches  of  the  Maicy  River;  in  the 
winter,  the  Indians  lived  on  land  not  subject  to  floods.  On  one  small 
inland  farm,  a  better  constructed,  open,  gable-roof  hut  was  noted. 


The  men  wore  a  belt  of  raw  fibers  with  fringe  down  the  front,  cover- 
ing and  holding  the  penis  up  against  the  abdomen.  The  women,  at  least 
in  the  camps,  were  nude.  The  women's  ears  and  the  lower  lips  of  some 
of  the  men  were  pierced.  The  young  women,  from  puberty  until  mar- 
riage, wore  two  fiber  strings,  sometimes  braided,  across  the  shoulders. 
Over  the  biceps  the  men  wore  fiber  bands  with  long  fringe.  The  women 
had  necklaces  of  seeds  and  animal  teeth.  Though  they  had  rustic  wooden 
combs,  their  hair  was  always  more  or  less  unkempt.  They  did  not  re- 
move the  body  hairs.  In  spite  of  their  river  habitat,  the  Pirahd,  especially 
the  children,  were  very  dirty  and  untidy.  Use  of  urucii  and  genipa  body 
paint  was  rare. 


Miscellaneous. — The  Pirahd  made  pouches  with  handles,  baskets  of 
babassu  straw,  gourds  for  holding  water,  gourds  with  painted  black  in- 
teriors, and  spoons  made  of  monkey  skulls.  They  made  two  types  of 
straw  fans,  one  rectangular  and  the  other  in  the  shape  of  a  fish.  There 
was  no  pottery.  The  Indians  usually  slept  on  a  platform,  but  sometimes, 
to  escape  the  mosquitoes,  they  lay  in  their  canoes,  tying  them  to  a  branch 
on  the  bank.  Very  rarely,  one  saw  a  netlike  fiber  hammock,  in  which 
they  rested  during  the  day. 

Weapons. — The  only  Pirahd  weapon  was  the  bow  and  arrow;  it  was 
powerful  but  less  carefully  made  than  those  of  the  Parintintin.  The  ar- 
rows had  radial  feathering,  tied  at  intervals.  A  jawbone  with  tusks  was 
used  to  smooth  the  bow  and  the  wooden  arrow  shaft.  On  the  edge  of 
the  bamboo  arrow  point  a  cutia's  tooth  was  set  in  a  handle. 


The  Parintintin  and  the  Pirahd  were  constantly  at  odds.  In  both  tribes 
there  were  a  number  of  Indians  who  bore  scars  of  wounds  from  this 
fighting.  Their  hostile  encounters  usually  took  place  in  the  summer  when 
the  Pirahd  went  up  the  Maicy  River,  sometimes  as  far  as  the  Maicy  Fork, 
looking  for  tracaja  (turtle,  Podocnemis)  eggs  in  Parintintin  country. 
Likewise,  the  Parintintin  attacked  the  Pirahd  in  their  camps  on  the  lower 
Maicy  River  almost  every  year.  Unlike  their  enemies,  the  Pirahd  were 
not  cannibals  and  did  not  take  trophies  from  the  bodies  of  the  slain 
enemies.  They  did,  sometimes,  take  prisoners.  Thus  in  1916  or  1917 
they  captured  a  Parintintin  woman  and  child  and  sold  them  to  the  civil- 
ized people  of  the  lower  Marmellos  River.     Long  ago  the  Pirahd  seem 


also  to  have  had  some  bloody  battles  with  the  Matanawi,  but  to  all  ap- 
pearances they  managed  to  get  along  peaceably  with  the  Tord. 


No  musical  instruments  were  seen  among  the  Pirahd.  A  group  of 
Pirahd  who  were  camped  near  the  Brazilian  Government  Center  held  a 
dance  from  the  rising  to  the  setting  of  the  full  moon.  Holding  hands 
and  singing  in  unison,  men  and  women  formed  a  circle  and  danced  in 
an  open  space.  Starting  slowly,  they  accelerated  until  they  were  running. 
This  was  repeated  all  night  long.  One  of  the  men  wore  around  his  head 
a  cord  with  short  feathers  of  many  colors;  others  had  yellow  grains  of 
mumbaca  palm  trees  (Astrocaryum  miimhaca)  hanging  over  their  ears 
as  ornaments.  At  a  certain  time,  all  were  served  a  warm  gruel  of  the 
jurumiim  (squash)  in  a  large  gourd,  made  by  roasting  the  plant  in  ashes 
and  crushing  it  with  the  hands  in  water. 


Albuquerque  Lacerda,  1864;  Anonymous,  ms.  a;  Barboza  Rodrigues,  1892  b; 
Bates,  1863 ;  Daniel,  1841 ;  Fernandes  de  Souza,  1870 ;  Ferreira,  ms. ;  Ferreira  Penna, 
1853;  Fonseca,  1880-81;  Fonesca  Coutinho,  1873;  Herndon  and  Gibbons,  1853-54; 
Leite,  1943;  Loukotka,  1939;  Marcoy,  1866;  Martins,  1863,  1867;  Monteiro  Noronha, 
1862;  Moraes,  1860;  Nimuendaju,  1924,  1925,  1932  b;  Nimuendajii  and  Valle  Bentes, 
1923;  Nunes  Pereira,  1939;  Orton,  1875;  Ribeiro  de  Sampaio,  1825;  Rivet,  1924; 
Schmidt,  W.,  1913;  Southey,  1862;  Sousa,  A.,  1870;  Spix  and  Martius,  1823-31,  and 
Atlas;  Tastevin,  1923  a;  Therese  von  Bayern,  1897;  Wallace,  1853,  1889. 


By  Donald  Horton 


The  Mundurucu  are  a  TM^f-speaking  people  in  the  southwestern  por- 
tion of  the  State  of  Para  and  the  southeastern  corner  of  the  State  of 
Amazonas,  Brazil  (map  1,  No.  1;  map  4;  lat.  5°-8°  S.,  long.  S6°-60° 
W.).  When  first  encountered  by  Europeans  in  the  late  18th  century, 
the  Mundurucu  were  a  warlike  people,  aggressively  expanding  their 
territory  along  the  Tapajoz  River  and  adjacent  areas.  Their  expansion 
reached  its  limits  at  the  beginning  of  the  19th  century,  when  they  were 
defeated  by  the  Neo-Brazilians.  Since  then  their  territory  has  dwindled ; 
remnant  settlements  are  located  on  the  Canuma  and  several  of  its  tributar- 
ies (Abacaxis,  Paracury,  Apucitaua),  in  the  municipios  of  Maues,  Par- 
intins,  and  Juriti,  and  on  the  Cururu  River  (a  southeastern  tributary  of 
the  Tapajoz).  The  principal  settlements  are  located  along  the  middle 
Tapajoz  River  and  especially  on  its  southeastern  tributary,  the  Rio  de 
Tropas  (between  lat.  6°  and  7°  S.,  and  long.  56°  and  57°  W.),  Commu- 
nities formerly  established  on  the  lower  Tapajoz  between  the  Rio  de 
Tropas  and  the  Amazon  have  been  absorbed  or  wiped  out  by  Neo-Brazilian 

Kruse  (1934)  distinguishes  four  regional  groups  of  the  Mundurucu: 
The  Tapajoz  River  group,  living  on  both  sides  of  the  Tapajoz  jjetween 
the  Rio  de  Tropas  and  the  Cururu  River ;  the  Madeira  River  Mundurucu, 
on  the  Secudury,  a  tributary  of  the  Canuma;  the  Xingii  River  Mun- 
durucu, known  also  as  the  Curuaya,  on  the  uppermost  left  tributary  of  the 
Igarape  de  Flecha,  itself  an  eastern  tributary  of  the  middle  Rio  Curua  do 
Iriri;  and  the  Juruena  River  Mundurucu,  known  also  as  the  Njamhik- 
waras.  Nimuendaju  (personal  communication)  regards  the  name  "Ma- 
deira Mundurucu"  as  unsuitable,  since  the  rivers  on  which  this  group  is 
located  do  not  flow  into  the  Madeira;  he  also  believes  that  the  Curuaya, 

*  The  writer  is  indebted  to  Dr.  Curt  Nimuendaju,  who  through  personal  knowledge  of  the 
Mundurucu  and  familiarity  with  literary  sources  not  available  to  the  writer,  was  able  to  provide 
additional  information  on  the  distribution  and  history  of  the  tribe  which  has  been  utilized  in  the 
present  account. 

Where  the  literature  clearly  indicates  that  a  custom  is  no  longer  practiced,  the  past  tense  is 
employed;  otherwise  the  account  is  given  in  the  present  tense  even  though  it  is  probable  that  much 
of  the  culture  so  described  no  longer  persists. 


272  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

though  related  linguistically  to  the  Mundurucu,  are  to  be  regarded  as  an 
independent  tribe  (this  volume,  p,  221),  and  that  the  Njamhikwara  (see 
Namhicuara,  p.  361)  are  not  properly  classified  as  Mundurucu  on  any 

Martius  (1867)  reported  a  group  related  to  the  Mundurucu,  known  as 
the  Guajajara,  who  were  settled  on  the  Gurupi  River  near  Cerzedello  in 
1818.  The  writer  has  found  no  further  reference  to  this  name  in  the 
literature  dealing  with  the  Mundurucu.  (The  Guajajara-Tembe  are  a 
tribe  near  the  east  coast  of  Brazil,  page  137.) 

According  to  native  tradition,  the  Wiaunyen,  at  the  headwaters  of  the 
Mutum  River,  should  be  classed  as  a  subtribe  of  the  Mundurucu. 

The  Mundurucu  refer  to  themselves  as  Weidyenye  (our  own,  our  peo- 
ple) (Kruse,  1934).  Mundurucu  (Munduruku,  Mundurucu,  Mondu- 
rucu,  Mundrucu,  Moturicu,  etc.)  is  the  name  applied  to  them  by  the 
Parintintin,  in  whose  language  it  denotes  a  species  of  ant  (Stromer,  1932). 
A  nickname  widely  used  by  Neo-Brazilians  is  Paiquize  (Paikyce)  (Mar- 
tius, 1867)  or  Paikise,  meaning  "father  knife"  or  "head-cutter."  They 
are  sometimes  called  Caras  Pretas  ("black  face"),  in  reference  to  their 
facial  tattooing.  (See  Kruse  (1934),  who  gives  an  extensive  list  of  names 
used  by  other  tribes  to  designate  the  Mundurucu.) 


In  1887,  Martius  estimated  the  Mundurucu  at  18,000  to  40,000,  but 
Stromer  believes  that,  on  the  basis  of  known  settlement  sites,  a  maximum 
population  of  10,000  at  the  period  of  Contact  is  indicated.  Tocantins 
(1877)  listed  21  villages  with  populations  ranging  from  100  to  2,600 
and  a  total  population  of  18,910.  According  to  Campana,  there  were 
at  the  turn  of  the  century  about  1,400  individuals  in  37  communities 
in  the  Tapajoz  area.  The  largest  villaG^e  had  700  inhabitants,  and  the 
smallest  less  than  a  dozen.  Stromer  (1932)  found  19  settlements  with  a 
total  of  1,200  to  1,400  inhabitants  in  1931,  and  fewer  still  in  1937.  Both 
Campana's  and  Stromer's  figures  refer  only  to  the  population  of  the 
main  area  of  concentration.  Kruse  gives  a  population  of  950  for  the 
Tapajoz  group  and  800  for  the  Canuma  group. 


The  first  reference  to  the  Mundurucu  was  published  in  1768  when  Monteiro 
Noronha"  listed  the  "Maturucuf'  among  the  tribes  on  the  Mauees  River.  In  1769, 
according  to  Manoel  Baena  (1885),  the  Mundurucu  began  to  move  northward  along 
the  Tapajoz  River,  forcing  out  or  extenninating  the  Jaguain  (Javaim,  Hy-au-ahim) , 
a  warlike,  cannibalistic  tribe  then  occupying  the  middle  Tapajoz.  A  "Mondruci" 
settlement  a  day's  journey  below  the  mouth  of  the  Arinos  was  reported  by  Almeida 
Serra   in    1779.     The    Mundurucu    reached   and   made   unsuccessful    attacks    upon 

a  The  writer  has  not  seen  all  of  the  sources  mentioned  in  this  sketch  of  Mundurucu  history; 
the  material  here  summarized  has  been  in  part  provided  by  Dr.  Nimuendaju  (personal  communi- 

Vol.  3]  THE  MUNDURUCU— HORTON  273 

Santarem  and  Gurupa  in  1780  and  again  in  1784.  They  attacked  the  Mura  in  the 
Madeira  River  region  and  a  few  years  later  dispersed  their  southern  neighbors,  the 
Parintintin  (Cawahiwa).  Their  next  expedition,  involving  an  army  of  some  2,000 
warriors,  is  said  to  have  crossed  the  Xingu  and  Tocantins  Rivers  and  to  have 
reached  the  western  limits  of  Maranhao  Province.  The  expedition  is  said  to  have 
been  defeated  and  turned  back  by  the  Apinaye  (see  Stromer,  1937),  but  according 
to  Nimuendaju,  it  may  be  doubted  that  the  Mimdurucu  actually  went  so  far  east.  A 
Neo-Brazilian  punitive  force  fought  a  3-day  battle  with  them  on  the  Rio  de  Tropas 
(ca.  1794).    Peace  was  established  in  1795  or  1796. 

Except  for  minor  conflicts  with  neighboring  tribes,  the  Mundurucu  abandoned 
warfare  and  gradually  relinquished  the  great  territory  they  had  seized.  Missions 
were  established  on  the  Tapajoz  in  1799  and  on  the  Madeira  in  1811.  By  1885,  the 
Mundtirucu  still  living  on  the  Madeira  River  had  been  sufficiently  acculturated  to  be 
described  as  "civilized"  (Hartt,  1885).  A  few  of  the  villages  of  the  Tapajoz 
region  are  said  to  preserve  as  much  of  the  old  culture  as  can  survive  without  mihtary 
organization,  warfare,  and  head  hunting  (Stromer,  1932). 

The  site  of  the  tribe  prior  to  its  northward  drive  along  the  Tapajoz  is  not 
definitely  known.  Kruse  (1934)  believes  that  they  lived  adjacent  to  the  Apiacd  in 
Mato  Grosso;  Martius  (1867)  thought  that  language  and  customs  pointed  to  an 
origin  still  further  south.  It  is  Nimuendaju's  opinion  (personal  communication), 
however,  that  the  Mundurucu  were  originally  located  on  the  Rio  de  Tropas,  where 
their  principal  settlements  are  found  today  and  where  the  punitive  expedition  of 
1794  found  their  chief  military  strength.  Mundurucu  legend  attributes  their  origin  to 
the  town  of  Necodemus  in  this  area. 



The  Mundurucu  subsist  partly  on  horticulture  and  partly  on  hunting, 
fishing,  and  gathering.  Tocantins'  (1877)  list  of  plants  cultivated  by  them 
includes  two  species  of  manioc,  svi^eet  potato,  pineapple,  sugarcane,  various 
peppers  and  beans,  and  several  species  of  bananas.  Other  authors  mention 
cotton,  tobacco,  and  genipa.  Tocantins  names  some  30  noncultivated 
plants  utilized  in  Mundurucu  economy.  Martius  (1867)  says  that  this 
tribe  formerly  gathered  wild  rice  along  the  Madeira  and  Iraria  Rivers. 
They  eat  ants,  larvae,  and  honey. 

Some  of  the  Mundurucu  now  have  cattle.  Though  they  do  not  use  these 
as  food,  they  will  eat  the  meat  of  domestic  animals  if  it  is  offered  them. 

In  the  aboriginal  culture,  wild  fowl  were  kept  in  cages  to  provide 
plumage  for  the  f eatherwork  described  below. 

The  Mundurucu  are  said  to  show  great  affection  for  their  dogs.  Women 
suckle  puppies ;  when  a  dog  dies  it  is  given  the  same  form  of  burial  as  a 
human  being. 

There  are  no  published  descriptions  of  Mundurucu  hunting  techniques, 
but  accounts  of  hunting  rituals  indicate  that  tapirs,  peccaries,  hares,  deer, 
and  agoutis  are  hunted.  One  ritual  simulates  the  use  of  a  runway  of  stakes 
to  trap  peccaries.  Intensive  hunting  occurs  during  the  summer,  when 
many  families  occupy  temporary  huts  in  the  brush. 

274  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  IB.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Barbed  arrows  are  used  more  commonly  than  hook  and  line  in  fishing. 
Stromer's  vocabulary  ( 1932)  includes  references  to  basket  traps  and  weirs. 
Fish  and  crocodiles  are  drugged  with  poison  from  twigs  and  leaves  of 
the  timbo. 

Food  preparation. — Cooking  is  women's  work.  Dishes  mentioned  in 
the  literature  include  roasted  sweet  potato,  banana  mush,  manioc  broth, 
cara  fruit  soup,  and  a  dish  consisting  of  Brazil  nuts  which  have  been 
washed,  soaked  in  water,  smoked,  crushed,  and  roasted.  Meat  is  roasted 
on  a  babracot  of  green  sticks  or  on  a  slanting  spit.  Stromer's  vocabulary 
includes  a  word  for  manioc  press  and  a  phrase  meaning  "roasting  house 
for  manioc  meal."  Mortar  and  pestle  are  reported.  Beverages  are  made 
from  wild  beans,  cacao,  and  manioc  meal  mixed  with  honey  and  water. 
The  Mundurucu  had  no  native  alcoholic  beverages. 

They  raise  tobacco  and  smoke  it  in  the  form  of  cigars  wrapped  in 
tauari  bark. 


Tocantins  and  Farabee  imply  that  the  dwellings  are  arranged  around 
Lne  periphery  of  an  open  village  plaza  in  the  center  of  which  is  the  men's 
house.  Bates,  however,  mentions  a  settlement  of  30  houses  scattered  for 
a  distance  of  6  or  7  miles  along  a  river  bank;  and  Martins  (Spix  and 
Martins,  1823-31,  vol.  3)  speaks  of  houses  arranged  in  rows  in  a  forest 

The  men's  house  (ekga)  occupied  by  the  warriors,  is  a  prominent  feature 
of  the  village.  Tocantins  describes  one  100  m.  (325  feet)  long,  covered 
with  thatch  and  open  on  one  of  its  long  sides.  A  photograph  of  a  men's 
house  in  Farabee  (1917  a)  shows  a  rectangular  structure,  smaller  and  more 
crudely  built  than  the  dwelling  house,  with  a  gable  roof  and  incompletely 
enclosed  sides.  The  warriors  slung  their  hammocks  from  posts  inside  it 
during  the  winter  and  from  a  series  of  posts  set  in  three  parallel  rows  and 
united  by  cross  beams,  in  the  village  plaza,  during  the  summer.  Although 
warfare  is  no  longer  an  important  aspect  of  Munduntcn  life,  the  men's 
house  still  serves  as  a  men's  work  place  and  as  a  dwelling  for  the  unmarried 
men.    Women  are  not  permitted  to  enter  it. 

The  dwelling  house  (ekqa,  "big  house")  photographed  by  Farabee  is  a 
long,  rectangular,  windowless  structure  with  a  high  thatched  roof  and  low 
walls.  The  men's  door  is  in  the  center  of  the  long  side  facing  the  men's 
house;  the  women's  door  is  directly  opposite.  Stromer  describes  the 
house  as  a  long,  rectangular  building  with  a  roof  sloping  to  the  ends  and 
sides,  and  with  rising  peaks  at  each  end  of  the  roof  crest,  but  in  a  later 
publication  (1937)  he  speaks  of  the  house  as  "dome-shaped."  In  the 
1850's,  Bates  found  that  most  of  the  dwellings  had  conical  roofs  and  walls 
of  framework  filled  with  mud.  The  roof  was  covered  with  palm  thatch, 
and  the  eaves  extended  halfway  to  the  ground.  Martins  also  reported 
conical  roofs. 

Vol.  3]  THE  MUNDURUCU— ilORTON  275 

Within  the  house  each  family  has  its  own  partitioned  quarters  and  a  fire- 
place or  stone  manioc  oven  (Tocantins,  1877).  How  many  families 
usually  occupy  a  single  house  has  not  been  reported. 


The  only  item  of  Mundurucil  clothing  mentioned  in  the  literature  is  the 
three-cornered  penis  cover  suspended  from  a  cotton  cord,  but  there  are 
several  descriptions  of  the  ceremonial  feather  garments  for  which  this 
tribe  is  famous.  Many  authors  consider  the  Mundurucu  to  have  been  the 
most  expert  featherworkers  in  South  America  within  the  historic  period. 

Featherwork. — Featherwork  includes  aprons,  capes  (attached  to  head- 
dresses), caps,  diadems,  belts,  girdles,  bandoliers,  arm  bands,  and  leg 
bands.  The  feathers  used  in  this  craft  were  at  least  in  part  obtained  from 
birds  kept  in  captivity ;  red,  blue,  green,  and  yellow  feathers  were  carefully 
sorted  by  color  and  size  and  stored  in  baskets  or  in  palm-stem  cylinders. 
Martius  was  told  that  the  Mundurucu  were  able  to  cause  their  parrots  to 
grow  yellow  plumes  by  plucking  their  feathers  and  rubbing  frogs'  blood 
into  the  wounds.^  The  feathers  arc  attached  to  a  net  fabric.  Tail  feathers, 
an-anged  in  parallel  rows,  are  used  in  capes  and  pendants ;  rosettes  of  small 
feathers,  bound  at  the  quills,  are  attached  to  the  base  net  to  cover  the 
attachments  of  long  feathers;  imbricated  breast  feathers  may  be  used  to 
cover  the  surface  of  a  fabric  or  to  sheathe  a  cord.  Decorative  effects  are 
produced  by  simple  alternation  of  colors. 

A  characteristic  feathered  staff  is  described  as  a  stem  of  cane  or  wood 
about  3  feet  ( 1  m. )  long  and  2  or  3  inches  in  diameter.  The  shaft  is  either 
covered  with  long  feathers  laid  flat  against  it  or  sheathed  with  fine  breast 
feathers.  At  the  upper  end  a  dense  band  of  rosettes  forms  a  projecting 
collar;  a  free  cluster  of  long  plumes  may  project  from  the  head  of  the 
staff.  The  feathers  are  attached  with  wax  and  cotton  thread.  These  ob- 
jects are  highly  valued  and  when  not  in  use  are  carefully  stored  m  cylin- 
drical containers.  Their  significance  has  not  been  reported;  Martius 
merely  says  that  when  he  approached  a  Mundurucu  village,  stafT-bearers 
came  to  meet  him. 

Tattooing  and  painting*. — The  Mundurucu  tattooing  designs  consist 
of  fine,  widely-spaced  parallel  lines  applied  vertically  on  limbs  and  torso; 
bands  of  lozenges  across  the  upper  part  of  the  chest;  occasional  parallel 
horizontal  lines,  and  cross-hatchings.  Around  each  eye  is  tattooed  a  single- 
line  ellipse ;  curved  lines  are  drawn  around  the  mouth.  Lines  converging 
toward  the  ears  across  the  cheeks  give  the  appearance  of  wings  spread 
across  the  face.  (For  illustrations  of  Mundurucu  tattooing,  see  the 
sketches  by  Hercules  Florence  (Steinen,  1899).) 

'  Nordenskiold  (1924  b,  p.  207)  says  of  this  custom,  which  has  been  reported  from  other  South 
American  tribes,  that  the  color  change  actually  occurs,  but  zoologists  attribute  the  change  to  dietary 

276  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Hartt  and  Martius  both  mention  tattooing  combs  of  palm  thorns,  but 
Tocantins  states  that  the  operation  is  performed  with  an  agouti  tooth.  The 
skin  is  slashed  and  genipa  juice  is  rubbed  into  the  wound.  Genipa  is  also 
used  as  a  paint  to  color  areas  enclosed  by  tattooed  lines.  Both  sexes  are 
tattooed  but  there  are  slight  differences  in  design  for  each.  The  operation 
begins  when  the  subject  is  about  8  years  old  and  proceeds  gradually  over 
a  period  of  years.  It  is  seldom  completed  before  the  subject  has  reached 
the  age  of  20. 

Hairdress. — The  aboriginal  hair  style  was  the  same  for  both  sexes. 
The  hair  was  cut  just  above  the  ears  and  at  the  nape  of  the  neck.  The 
crown  of  the  head  was  shaved  but  a  short,  circular  tuft  was  left  above  the 
center  of  the  forehead. 


Baskets,  ropes,  and  netting. — Baskets  are  woven  of  creepers,  straw, 
and  twigs.  Ropes  and  cords  are  made  of  plant  fibers  and  cotton  thread. 
Women  beat  the  raw  cotton  with  sticks  to  separate  the  fibers  and  twist 
the  thread  with  the  aid  of  some  sort  of  spindle.  Cotton  thread  is  used  in 
knitting  net  fabrics  for  featherwork,  and  in  making  hammocks.  Fibers 
from  the  outer  surface  of  muriti  palm  leaves  are  sometimes  used  in  mak- 
ing hammocks. 

Ceramics. — Pottery  vessels,  made  by  women,  are  modeled  directly 
from  a  mass  of  clay  and  are  said  to  be  of  poor  quality. 

Weapons. — The  following  weapons  have  been  mentioned  but  not 
described :  Bows,  arrows  of  reed  and  of  wood,  poisoned  war  arrows, 
unpoisoned  hunting  arrows  (Martius,  1867),  spears  with  bamboo  blades, 
javelins,  wooden  knives,  hafted  (stone?)  axes,  and  war  clubs.  A  cotton 
bandage  was  wrapped  around  the  knuckles  of  the  bow  hand  to  protect 
it  from  the  bowstring.  Katzer  (1901)  has  published  illustrations  of  a 
number  of  flat,  polished  stone  ax  heads,  of  oval  or  nearly  quadrangular 
shape,  with  lateral  notches ;  these  were  found  archeologically  in  Miindu- 
rucu  territory.  He  reports  that  the  Mundurucu  still  make  such  stone 
objects,  but  keep  them  merely  as  valuables  or  as  children's  toys. 


Despite  hostility  between  the  Mundurucu  and  their  neighbors,  they 
traded  their  featherwork  extensively.  They  are  said  to  have  depended 
on  an  unidentified  northern  source  for  arrow  poison.  After  the  advent 
of  the  missions,  manioc  meal,  sarsaparilla,  and  other  forest  products  were 
exported  to  Santarem  in  considerable  quantities  (Martius,  1867). 


According  to  Kruse  (1934),  the  Tapajoz  River  Mundurucu  have  a 
patrilineal  sib  and  moiety  system.    There  are  34  sibs  whose  members  are 

Vol.  3]  THE  MUNDURUCU— HORTON  277 

related  to  eponymous  plants  and  animals.  Sib  ancestors  are  embodied  in 
large  ceremonial  trumpets  called  "kaduke,"  which  women  are  forbidden 
to  see  upon  pain  of  lifelong  unhappiness.  Certain  sibs  are  "related." 
but  the  nature  of  the  relationship  has  not  been  specified.  The  sibs  are 
grouped  in  exogamous  moieties:  a  red  moiety  of  15  sibs  and  a  white 
moiety  of  19  sibs.  A  list  of  the  sib  names  is  given  by  Kruse  (1934). 
In  Mundurucu  tradition  these  sibs  were  once  warring  tribes ;  their  pacifi- 
cation and  organization  into  the  present  tribal  society  is  attributed  to 
the  culture  hero. 

Polygyny  is  practiced  by  men  of  rank.  Younger  wives  are  sometimes 
solicited  voluntarily  by  the  elder  wife.  Martins  reports  the  levirate.  He 
also  states  that  if  a  marriageable  girl's  father  dies,  and  she  finds  no  suit- 
able husband,  her  mother's  brother  is  obliged  to  marry  her.  It  is  perhaps 
corroborative  evidence  of  this  type  of  marriage  that  in  the  kinship  terms 
given  in  Stromer's  vocabulary,  a  woman  addresses  her  brother  and  son- 
in-law  by  the  same  term  (tapo). 

Patrilocal  residence  is  indicated  by  Martius'  report  (1867)  that  a 
woman  guilty  of  adultery  may  be  expelled  from  the  house  and  return  to 
her  own  family.  According  to  Hartt  (1885),  each  family's  section  of 
the  communal  house  is  identified  by  the  family's  color  painted  on  the 
post  of  the  partition.  No  further  information  about  this  color  symbolism 
is  given. 

Each  communal  house  is  said  to  have  its  house  chief  and  its  shaman. 
Above  house  chiefs  and  shamans  in  rank  are  war  chiefs,  chiefs  of  sub- 
tribes  (regional  groups  or  moieties?),  and  a  chief  shaman.  Bates  (1892) 
is  the  only  writer  who  mentions  a  paramount  tribal  chief.  Farabee 
(1917  a)  makes  an  obscure  reference  to  differences  in  class  between  war 
chiefs  and  "civil"  chiefs  (house  chiefs?).  He  also  states  that  the  sons 
and  daughters  of  war  chiefs  intermarry. 


The  central  military  institution  was  the  group  of  warriors  living  in  the 
men's  house.  This  house  and  the  village  were  constantly  guarded  by  a 
patrol  whose  leader  gave  signals  by  means  of  a  trumpet  or  flute.  When 
a  war  expedition  was  being  planned,  a  pledge  stick  was  passed  among 
the  warriors  by  the  war  chief.  A  warrior  pledged  himself  to  join  the 
expedition  by  cutting  a  notch  in  the  stick.  When  the  war  party  got  under 
way,  absolute  authority  was  vested  in  its  leader. 

War  was  generally  waged  during  the  summer  dry  season.  Whenever 
feasible,  each  warrior  was  accompanied  by  his  wife  or  sister,  who  carried 
his  equipment,  prepared  food,  strung  hammocks,  aided  him  if  he  were 
wounded,  and  assisted  in  the  preliminary  preparation  of  trophy  heads. 
The  women,  according  to  most  authors,  took  no  part  in  the  actual  fighting. 

278  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

though  Martius  reports  that  women  participated  in  the  battle  to  the  extent 
of  recovering  arrows  shot  by  the  enemy  and  deHvering  them  to  cheir  own 
warriors.  He  even  asserts  that  the  women  "cleverly  catch  the  arrows  of 
the  enemy  in  flight"  (Spix  and  Martius,  1823-31,  3:  1,313).  The  usual 
method  of  attack  was  to  assault  the  enemy  village  at  daybreak  and  to 
fire  the  huts  by  means  of  incendiary  arrows.  During  the  fight,  the  war 
leader  stood  behind  his  warriors  directing  the  attack.  Assistants  signaled 
his  orders  on  their  trumpets.  Women  and  children  of  the  enemy  were 
taken  prisoner;  the  women  were  later  married  by  Mundurucu  men,  and 
the  children  were  adopted.  But  enemy  warriors  were  killed  and  their 
heads  taken  as  trophies. 

A  Mundurucu  warrior  who  had  fought  bravely  but  because  of  a  wound 
had  failed  to  obtain  a  head,  received  in  compensation  a  cotton  belt  from 
which  hung  teeth  removed  from  enemy  heads.  Such  a  belt  might  also 
be  given  to  the  widow  of  a  warrior  killed  in  battle  (pi.  23,  right),  and 
her  possession  of  it  entitled  her  to  be  supported  by  the  community.  When 
a  warrior  had  been  wounded,  his  name  was  not  spoken  for  a  year ;  during 
this  time  he  was  considered  to  be  dead.  At  the  end  of  the  year,  a  feast 
was  given  to  reinstate  him  in  the  community. 

Trophy  heads  were  dried  and  colored  with  urucu  or  genipa ;  the  brain 
cavity  was  filled  with  cotton  and  a  carrying  cord  was  laced  through  the 
lips  (p\.  23,  left).  ilfwncfwrMcw  trophy  heads  were  not  shrunken.  (Koser- 
itz  (1885)  and  Barbosa  Rodrigues  (1882  a)  were  both  in  error  on  this 

Stromer  believes  that  the  Mundurucu  were  cannibalistic,  basing  his 
belief  on  a  passage  in  native  text  which  seems  to  imply  that  some  part 
of  the  trophy  head  was  eaten.  Kruse  ( 1934)  denies  that  the  Mundurucu 
were  in  any  way  cannibalistic;  Nimuendajii  (personal  communication) 
doubts  the  credibility  of  Stromer's  informants  on  this  subject. 


Birth  and  naming^. — According  to  Martius,  the  father  keeps  to  his 
hammock  for  several  weeks  after  the  birth  of  a  child  and  there  receives 
the  visits  and  solicitude  of  his  neighbors.  Immediately  after  its  birth, 
the  child  is  given  a  totemic  name.  Other  names  are  added  as  the  child 
grows  older.  If  a  man  performs  a  heroic  deed  in  hunting  or  warfare, 
his  heroism  will  be  commemorated  by  an  additional  name.  When  children 
reach  their  8th  year,  their  tatooing  begins,  and  a  boy  takes  up  residence 
in  the  men's  house. 

Puberty  and  marriage. — Martius  (1867)  says  that  a  girl  at  her  first 
menstruation  is  required  to  undergo  a  long  period  of  fasting  "while  ex- 
posed to  the  smoke  in  the  gable  of  the  hut." 

A  girl  may  be  betrothed  while  still  quite  young  to  a  mature  warrior. 
Though  she  remains  with  her  parents  and  the  marriage  is  not  consummated 

Vol.  3]  THE  MUNDURUCU— HORTON  279 

until  she  reaches  puberty,  the  prospective  husband  assumes  the  responsi- 
bility of  providing  food  for  her  and  her  parents.  A  younger  man  may 
obtain  a  wife  by  giving  several  years'  bride  service  in  the  household  of 
the  girl's  parents. 

Death  and  burial. — An  "executioner"  was  pointed  out  to  Martius, 
whose  duty  it  was  to  despatch  the  fatally  ill  and  the  senile.  Attribution 
of  this  custom  to  the  Munduructi  is  said  to  be  widespread  among 
neighboring  tribes. 

When  a  death  occurs,  the  maternal  relatives  of  the  deceased  cut  their 
hair,  blacken  their  faces,  and  conduct  a  prolonged  wailing  for  the  dead. 
The  corpse,  wrapped  in  a  hammock,  is  placed  upright  with  flexed  knees 
in  a  cylindrical  grave  under  the  floor  of  the  dwelling.  Grave  goods  con- 
sist of  ornaments  and  other  small  objects.  Skeletons  of  men  of  high 
status  are  exhumed  and  burned  after  the  flesh  has  decayed;  the  ashes 
are  buried  in  jars. 

When  a  warrior  is  killed  on  a  distant  battlefield,  his  head  is  taken 
back  to  the  village  and  put  on  display  with  his  ornaments,  trumpet,  and 
weapons.  After  a  feast  in  honor  of  the  deceased,  the  head  is  suspended 
from  the  neck  of  his  mother,  widow,  or  sister,  and  his  fellow  warriors 
pledge  to  avenge  his  death.  During  this  ceremony  the  shaman  is  isolated 
in  a  special  hut  where  he  blows  the  sacred  trumpet  (kaduke).  The  cere- 
mony is  repeated  at  yearly  intervals,  terminating  with  the  fourth  per- 
formance, when  the  head  is  finally  buried  in  the  house  of  the  deceased, 


At  the  beginning  of  winter,  the  Mundurucu  perform  a  ceremony  which 
on  alternate  years  invokes  success  in  hunting  and  in  fishing.  The  shaman, 
isolated  in  a  special  hut,  propitiates  the  guardian  spirits  of  game  animals 
and  fish.  A  ventriloquistic  dialogue  in  which  the  voices  of  the  animals 
are  heard  proceeding  from  the  hut  informs  the  people  of  the  shaman's 
success  in  obtaining  the  favor  of  the  spirits.  OflFerings  are  made  to  the 
skulls  of  animals  and  fish.  The  ceremony  is  directed  by  a  feast  leader 
who  is  both  a  prominent  warrior  and  a  good  singer.  Tocantins  (1877) 
reports  a  similar  annual  ceremony  to  propitiate  the  spirits  of  maize 
and  manioc. 

Farabee  (1917  a)  describes  a  feast  held  at  the  first  full  moon  in  May 
to  celebrate  the  first  hunt  following  the  birth  of  the  April  litters  of 
peccaries.  After  a  feast  in  which  young  peccaries  are  eaten,  there  is 
a  dance  in  which  the  performers  imitate  a  herd  of  peccaries.  Children 
run  among  tlie  dancers  like  young  peccaries  while  the  older  people 
imitate  the  sound  of  peccaries  feeding;  a  dancer  representing  an  old  boar 
protecting  the  herd  wrestles  with  another  dancer  who  plays  the  part  of 
a  jaguar.  The  boar  succeeds  in  holding  oflf  the  jaguar  while  the  herd 
of  peccaries  escapes. 

280  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

In  another  dance  the  peccaries  are  pursued  by  hunters  and  their  dogs. 
The  peccaries  take  refuge  in  a  hole  in  the  ground.  The  hunters  then 
simulate  the  construction  of  a  trap  by  standing  with  legs  astraddle  to 
represent  an  alley  of  stakes;  the  peccaries  try  to  escape  between  the 
lines  of  stakes  and  are  killed  by  a  hunter  at  the  end  of  the  alley. 

An  abbreviated  description  of  a  peccary  festival  is  given  by  Stromer 
(1932).  This  is  a  hunting  ceremony  in  which  the  skulls  of  animals 
play  a  role.  Sexual  intercourse  is  performed  ritually  by  the  participants. 
At  one  point  in  the  ceremony,  the  performers  dance  on  a  heap  of  peccary 
hair  while  they  sing  an  invocation  of  success  in  peccary  hunting. 

At  a  special  men's  festival  in  honor  of  the  sib  ancestors  the  sacred 
trumpets  are  blown.  At  the  conclusion  of  the  ceremony,  a  special  bev- 
erage is  poured  through  the  trumpet  into  a  cup  and  drunk  by  the  partici- 
pants. The  ceremony,  performed  by  men  alone  since  women  are  not 
permitted  to  see  the  trumpets,  is  said  to  propitiate  the  sib  ancestors 
and  to  obtain  their  good  will  toward  their  descendants. 

At  the  tree  festival  a  tree  is  set  up  in  the  center  of  the  dwelling  house ; 
the  participants  stand  around  it  while  the  shaman  smokes  tobacco  and 
invokes  on  the  house  the  protection  of  Karusakaibo,  the  creator  god. 


The  shaman  determines  the  most  favorable  time  for  war  parties,  exor- 
cises evil  spirits,  takes  a  leading  part  in  ceremonies,  cures  the  sick,  detects 
sorcerers,  and  intervenes  to  terminate  eclipses  of  the  sun.  Illness  is 
believed  to  be  caused  by  the  intrusion  of  a  worm  into  the  patient's  body, 
or  by  sorcery.  The  shaman  cures  the  intrusion  by  blowing  smoke  on  the 
patient's  body  and  sucking  out  the  worm.  When  many  deaths  or  much 
sickness  occur  the  malevolence  of  a  sorcerer  is  suspected;  the  shaman 
detects  the  sorcerer  and  informs  the  chief  of  his  identity.  The  chief  ap- 
points two  warriors  to  follow  the  sorcerer  until  they  have  a  favorable 
opportunity  to  kill  him.  Some  hints  as  to  the  technique  of  sorcery  are 
given  in  Stromer's  vocabulary.  He  records  the  word,  yamain,  meaning 
"to  cut  off  the  head  and  set  it  back  again,"  and  the  word,  yakut,  "hole  in 
the  earth  in  which  to  bury  the  head" — both  with  reference  to  the  practice 
of  sorcery. 

Sorcery  is  said  to  be  virtually  the  sole  cause  of  homicide  among  the 
Mundurucu.  Adultery  is  punished  by  the  expulsion  of  the  guilty  persons. 
When  two  men  become  antagonistic,  one  of  them  takes  his  hammock  and 
goes  to  live  in  the  men's  house  of  another  village. 


The  creator  god  and  culture  hero  of  Mundurucu  mythology  is  Karusa- 
kaibo (Caru-Sacaibe  (Tocantins,  1877));  Karusakaibe  (Kruse,  1934); 

Vol.  3]  THE  MUNDURUCU— HORTON  281 

Karusakaibu  (Farabee,  1917  a).  His  wife,  Sikrida  (Stromer,  1932)  ; 
Chicridha  (Tocantins,  1877),  is  a  Mundurucu  woman.  Korumtau 
(Carutau  (ibid.))  is  his  eldest  son  and  his  second  born  is  Anukaite 
(Hanu-Acuate  (ibid.)).  Karusakaibo's  companion  and  helper  is  Daiiru 
(Rayru  (ibid.)),  an  armadillo. 

Conflict  between  Karusakaibo  and  his  sons  and  companion  is  a  recur- 
rent theme  in  several  myths  reported  by  Stromer  and  Tocantins.  In  one 
story,  Anukaite  is  seduced  by  his  mother.  Karusakaibo  learns  of  the 
incest  and  in  anger  pursues  his  son.  Anukaite  delays  his  flight  to  have 
sexual  intercourse  with  several  importunate  women  whom  he  meets  on 
the  way;  his  father  overtakes  him  and  transforms  him  into  a  tapir.  The 
insatiable  women  are  transformed  into  fish. 

On  another  occasion  the  offenders  are  Daiiru  and  Korumtau.  Their 
offense  is  not  explained  clearly  in  the  account  (Stromer,  1932)  but  ap- 
pears to  involve  an  improper  relationship  between  Korumtau  and  some 
peccaries,  for  which  Daiiru  is  partly  responsible.  Again  the  guilty  are 
pursued  by  Karusakaibo;  to  evade  his  father,  Korumtau  transforms  him- 
self successively  into  a  peccary,  a  cricket,  a  bird,  and  a  monkey.  Once  he 
is  wounded  by  an  arrow  shot  by  the  pursuing  father,  but  the  armadillo 
draws  the  arrow  from  the  wound.  The  animals  of  the  forest  give  aid  by 
warning  of  the  father's  approach.  Finally,  the  two  fugitives  throw  them- 
selves into  a  body  of  water  and  escape. 

The  Mundurucu  origin  myth  tells  of  the  emergence  of  mankind  from 
under  the  ground.  According  to  one  version  (Farabee,  1917  a),  Karusa- 
kaibo had  made  the  world  but  had  not  created  men.  One  day  Daiiru,  the 
armadillo,  offended  the  creator  and  was  forced  to  take  refuge  in  a  hole  in 
the  ground.  Karusakaibo  blew  into  the  hole  and  stamped  his  foot  on  the 
earth.  Daiiru  was  blown  out  of  the  hole  by  the  rush  of  air.  He  reported 
that  people  were  living  in  the  earth.  He  and  Karusakaibo  made  a  cotton 
rope  and  lowered  it  into  the  hole.  The  people  began  to  climb  out.  When 
half  of  them  had  emerged,  the  rope  broke  and  half  remained  underground, 
where  they  still  live.  The  sun  passes  through  their  country  from  west  to 
east  when  it  is  night  on  the  earth ;  the  moon  shines  there  when  the  earth 
has  moonless  nights.  According  to  another  version  of  the  tale  (Tocantins, 
1877) ,  the  creator  stamped  his  foot  at  the  site  of  the  village  of  Necodemos ; 
White  people,  Indians,  and  Negroes  emerged  from  a  fissure  in  the  ground. 
The  creator  tattooed  the  Mundurucu  like  himself ;  the  Whites  and  Negroes 
scattered.  Karusakaibo  then  showed  the  Mundurucu  how  to  raise  manioc, 
maize,  cotton,  and  other  plants  and  how  to  utilize  them.  It  was  he  who 
traced  the  petroglyphs  now  found  on  certain  cliffs  in  the  region  of 
Necodemos.  Another  origin-of-agriculture  myth  is  given  in  a  text  gath- 
ered by  Stromer  (1937). 

Kruse  (1934)  reports  a  myth  in  which  the  women  are  said  to  have 
once  been  in  possession  of  the  men's  house,  while  the  men  lived  in  the 

282  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

dwelling  house.  The  men  did  all  the  work,  including  such  women's  tasks 
as  fetching  firewood,  providing  manioc,  and  baking  manioc  meal.  The 
woman  ruler  of  the  tribe  and  two  companions  found  three  sacred  trumpets 
and  secretly  practiced  playing  on  them  in  the  forest.  When  the  men  dis- 
covered the  secret,  they  took  the  trumpets  away  from  the  women.  The 
women  were  sent  to  the  dwelling  house  and  were  forbidden  to  look  again 
upon  the  trumpets,  w^hile  the  men  took  possession  of  the  men's  house. 

Both  Stromer  (1932)  and  Farabee  (1917  a)  report  a  myth  which  tells 
that  the  sun  once  fell  upon  the  earth  and  destroyed  its  inhabitants  by  fire. 
Five  days  after  the  fire,  the  creator  sent  a  vulture  from  the  sky  to  see  if  the 
earth  had  cooled,  but  the  vulture  remained  to  eat  the  bodies  of  men  who 
had  been  killed.  After  4  days  a  blackbird  was  sent,  but  it  remained  to  eat 
the  charred  buds  of  the  trees.  Four  days  later,  the  creator  sent  a  dove, 
which  returned  with  earth  between  its  claws.  Then  the  creator  came 
down  and  recreated  men  and  animals  of  white  potter's  clay.* 


A  few  miscellaneous  cosmological  beliefs  were  obtained  by  Farabee: 
Karusakaibo  created  the  sun  by  transforming  a  young  man  who  had  red 
eyes  and  long  white  hair.  The  moon  is  a  transformed  virgin  with  white 
skin.  The  rain  spirit  makes  thunder  by  rolling  a  pestle  in  a  mortar.  The 
constellations  are  men  and  animals  in  a  great  savanna.  An  eclipse  of  the 
sun  is  due  to  a  great  fire  which  sweeps  over  its  surface.  A  powerful 
shaman  once  ascended  to  the  sun  and  put  out  the  fire.  Now,  when  an 
eclipse  occurs,  the  shaman  sends  his  yakpu  to  clear  the  sun.  The  yakpn 
(a  fragment  of  meteoric  iron)  falls  to  the  earth  as  a  ball  of  fire.  After 
it  cools,  the  shaman  puts  it  away  until  the  next  eclipse. 


Baena,  1885;  Barbosa  Rodrigues,  1882  a;  Bates,  1892;  Campana,  1904-06;  Chand- 
less,  1862,  1870;  Coudreau,  H.,  1897  a;  Farabee,  1917  a;  Hartt,  1885;  Horschelmann, 
1918-20;  Katzer,  1901;  Koseritz,  1885;  Kruse,  1934;  Martius,  1867;  Nimuendaju, 
1938;  Nordenskiold,  1924  b;  Spix  and  Martius,  1823-31,  vol.  3;  Steinen,  1899; 
Stromer,  1932,  1937;  Tocantins,   1877;  Wood,   1868-70. 

*  For  texts  of  some  of  the  myths  given  in  condensed  form  above,  see  Stromer  (1932);  for  other 
myths,  not  included  in  this  account,  see  Stromer  (ibid.)  and  Tocantins  (1877).  Farabee  (1917  a) 
also  gives  three  animal  fables  which  he  attributes  to  the  Munduriicii. 


By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


Cawahih  (Kawahib,  Cawahiwa,  Cahahiha,  Cabaiva,  Caiihuahipe, 
Cahuahiva)  is  the  18th-  and  early  19th-century  name  of  a  people  who 
later  split  into  some  six  groups  or  tribes,  among  them  the  Parintintin  and 
the  Tupi-Caivahib  (pp.  299-305).  (Lat.  10°  S.,  long.  58°  W.;  map  1, 
No.  2;  map  3.) 

In  the  18th  century,  a  tribe  named  Cabahiba  Hved  on  the  upper 
Tapajoz  River,  between  the  confluence  of  the  Arinos  and  Juruena  Rivers 
and  the  mouth  of  the  Sao  Manoel  River.  Information  about  this  tribe  is 
scanty,  partly  because  it  never  lived  on  the  banks  of  the  great  river, 
unlike  its  neighbors,  the  Apiacd.  The  oldest  reference  to  it,  in  1797, 
appears  in  an  anonymous  manuscript  (1857)  with  the  laconic  entry, 
"Cabahibas — Lingua  Geral :  situated  below  [the  Apiacas],  near  the  said 
confluence  [Arinos  and  Juruena]."  Subsequently,  when  the  tribe  may  no 
longer  have  existed  as  a  unit  in  that  region,  it  is  mentioned  by  writers 
who  evidently  based  their  statements  on  older  data.  The  Cabahiba  are 
not  mentioned  on  the  upper  Tapajoz  by  any  of  the  travelers  of  the  first 
three  decades  of  the  19th  century  who  wrote  on  the  Apiacd,  but  they  are 
noted  in  other  territory.  The  following  is  quoted  from  a  list  which 
Castelnau  (1850-59,  vol.  3)  compiled  in  1844,  but  which  evidently  refers 
to  the  situation  at  the  beginning  of  the  century :  "The  Cabaivas  cultivate 
considerable  plantations  to  the  west  of  the  Juruena,  but  they  are  located 
much  farther  from  the  river  than  the  nations  mentioned  before  (Tame- 
pugas,  Urupu3'as,  Macuris,  and  Birapagaparas)."  Manoel  Ayres  Cazal 
(1707,  p.  256)  mentions  them  in  1817  in  the  same  manner,  "To  the  north 
of  the  latter  ( Appiacas)  live  the  Cabahybas  who  speak  the  same  language." 

In  1819,  some  Apiacd  informed  Canon  Guimaraes  that  the  Caiihuahipe 
{Cazvahib)  lived  on  the  Paramutanga  (parana-mitan,  "red  river,"  i.e., 
"Sangue  River"),  a  tributary  of  the  Juruena,  and  that  they  used  silver 
ornaments.  Melgago  in  his  "Apontamentos"  (1884)  locates  them  ap- 
proximately in  the  same  region,  on  the  Campos  dos  Pareceis,  between  the 
Arinos  and  Juruena  Rivers.     Another  Apiacd  told  Castelnau  in   1814 

653333—47—21  qQQ 

284  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

that  the  Cahuahiva  lived  among  the  tribes  along  the  Juruena,  ,but  were 
driven  from  the  river  shores  by  the  Apiacd.  There  is  no  further  mention 
in  the  literature  of  the  name  Cabahiba,  but  V.  P.  Vasconcellos'  expedition 
down  the  Sangue  River  in  1915  (Rondon,  1916)  found  unknown  and 
hostile  Indians  on  its  lower  portions.  The  behavior  of  these  Indians 
suggested  that  they  were  a  Tupi  tribe,  as  Rondon  believed,  and  not 
Nambicuara,  as  Vasconcellos  thought. 

As  the  name  Cazvahib  gradually  disappeared  from  the  writings  about 
Mato  Grosso,  Parintintin  began  to  appear  in  Para  at  the  beginning  of 
the  19th  century.  Parintintin  (pari,  "non-Mimdurucu  Indian,"  rign-rign, 
"fetid")  is  the  name  given  the  Cawahib  by  the  Mundurucu,  its  mortal 
enemies  and  neighbors  to  the  north. 

The  Mundurucu  originally  were  concentrated  in  the  region  of  the  Rio 
das  Tropas,  but,  since  1750,  they  have  expanded  mainly  at  the  expense 
of  the  Cawahib.  The  Mundurucu,  according  to  their  tradition,  expelled 
the  Parintintin  from  the  Cururu  River  Basin.  They  continued  to  perse- 
cute them  until  the  beginning  of  the  20th  century,  and  no  doubt  caused 
them  to  split  into  six  isolated  groups  between  the  Sao  Manoel-Paranatinga 
and  the  Madeira  Rivers.  It  has  been  established  that  two  of  the  most 
important  of  these,  the  Parintintin  of  the  Madeira  River  and  the  "Tupi" 
of  the  Machado,  call  themselves  Cawahib.  Two  others,  one  at  the  head- 
waters of  the  Machadinho  River  and  the  other  in  the  interior  between  the 
upper  Tapajoz  and  Sao  Manoel  Rivers,  do  not,  judging  by  the  few  known 
words  of  their  language,  differ  from  the  other  groups.  Historic  and 
ethnographic  data  indicate  that  the  fifth,  that  on  the  Sangue  River,  is 
probably  also  a  Cawahib  group.  Of  the  sixth,  on  the  upper  Bararaty 
River,  it  is  known  only  that  they  are  hostile  to  civilized  people  and  that 
they  occupy  a  part  of  the  former  territory  of  the  old  Parintintin;  it  is  just 
barely  possible  that  they  form  part  of  the  Cawahib  tribe. 



Names  of  the  Parintintin  are:  Self -designation,  Cawahib;  Cawahizva 
(kab,  kawa,  "wasp");  in  Mundurucu,  Pari-rign-rign,  "fetid  Indians"; 
in  Mauc,  Paritin,  from  the  Mundurucu  term  designating  all  hostile  In- 
dians; in  Mura  of  the  Autaz  River,  Wdhai;  in  Mura  of  the  Madeira 
River,  Toepehe,  Topehe  (from  Mundurucu  taypehe=penis?)  ;  in  Pirahd 
Toypehe;  in  Tord,  Toebehe  (from  the  Mura)  or  Nakasefi,  "fierce";  in 
Matanawi,  Itoebehe  (from  the  Tord)  or  Tapakard;  and  in  the  Lingua 
Geral  of  the  past  century,  Yawaretd-Tapiiya,  "Jaguar  Indians." 

Until  1922,  the  Parintintin  occupied  the  region  between  the  Madeira 
River,  the  Amazonian  parts  of  the  Machado  and  Marmellos  Rivers,  and 
the  right  tributary  of  the  latter,  the  Rio  Branco. 

u    m. 

'li^nir^M  WARIWA  -  TAP 



YUMA      N    A 

^^  /J7»  ^~  —   —  ^»^^—  ^^r.HAYRjt  R  r 


"^  Mj^R_A_  W_A^_ 

' — '     A       "^a^K^"^         yuKAwri        in  PUNA 

L—    ^         /l^^    y  /        '^°BACMANA 


Cy/?/<  «^yf  >^ 

Mana'os  K^    '-••»  so'j 

CAPUeNI    "^ 
j^^  AnomS 




lf\i  CUMArARI 

y  / 

C   A    T  U  K  I     N  A 

^AJ_A_W J_S_H j_  cifnjr' 

/  l£'^-"'(i^^UMA 







Map  3. — The  tribes  of  Central  Brazil.  Solid  underlining,  modern  locations; 
broiien  underlining,  extinct  portions  of  tribes;  otherwise,  date  of  location  is 
given  under  the  tribal  name.  Tribes  not  underlined  are  extinct.  (Compiled  by 
Curt  Nimuendajd.) 

aUU»— 4S     (F>cap.2M) 


The  Parintintin  language  is  pure  Tupi,  and  differs  from  the  upper 
Machado  Tupi  only  in  some  phonetic  variations.  In  the  Parintintin 
vocabulary  compiled  by  Severiano  da  Fonseca  (1880-81)  in  1878, 
only  a  few  words  can  ,be  identified,  the  remainder  being  incomprehensible. 
In  1922,  Garcia  de  Freitas  (1926)  took  the  first  vocabulary  of  127 
words,  and  in  December  1922,  the  present  author  (Nimuendaju,  1924, 
p.  262)  collected  a  vocabulary  of  328  entries. 

In  1922,  the  number  of  Parintintin  was  estimated  at  250.  Garcia  de 
Freitas  (1926)  gave  a  total  of  500  for  that  year,  but  included  two  adjacent 
groups.  The  existence  of  one  of  these  is  in  doubt,  and  the  number  of  the 
other  may  be  less  than  the  author  thought.  At  present,  the  Parintintin, 
excluding  the  Apairande,  who  still  keep  aloof,  number  about  120.  They 
are  divided  into  three  groups:  (1)  That  on  the  Igarape  Ipixuna,  a 
tributary  of  Lake  Uruapiara;  (2)  the  Tres  Casas  settlement;  and  (3) 
the  Calama  group.  The  members  of  the  last  two  are  rubber  gatherers 
(Garcia  de  Freitas,  1926). 

Parintintin  were  first  mentioned  as  a  cannibal  tribe  in  the  Madeira  region  in  1829 
(Castelnau,  1850,  3:  164).  They  occupied  territory  that  belonged  previously  to  the 
Tord,  Mura  and  Pirahd.  The  earliest  report  of  Parintintin  hostilities  known  to  the 
present  author  was  in  1852.  Since  then,  the  Parintintin  have  probably  made  at 
least  one  assault  each  year  on  the  civilized  people,  who  were  always  more  or  less 
the  losers.    They  became  the  scourge  of  the  Madeira. 

Cruel  guerrilla  warfare  dragged  on  for  long  decades.  Punitive  expeditions  by 
the  Neo-Brazilians,  or  by  the  Mimdurucii  under  the  orders  of  the  latter,  did  not 
improve  matters.  Colonel  Rondon  instigated  an  attempt  to  pacify  the  Parintintin, 
but  his  emissary  fell  into  a  pitfall  and  was  seriously  injured.  In  1922,  after  several 
ineffectual  attacks,  the  Parintintin  made  their  first  contact  with  the  personnel  of  the 
Servigo  de  ProtecQao  aos  Indios  at  the  Station  on  the  Maicy  River,  a  tributary  of 
the  Marmellos  River  on  the  left  bank.  Since  then,  the  tribe  has  not  again  attacked 
the  civilized  people  on  the  Madeira  River.  It  has,  however,  suffered  great  losses 
from  disease  acquired  through  contact  with  civilization.  Part  of  the  survivors 
went  into  service  under  the  rubber  workers  on  the  Madeira  River,  and  another  part 
remained  peacefully  on  the  Igarape  Ipixima. 


The  Parintintin  practice  extensive  agriculture.  They  have  a  variety 
of  maize  so  tender  that  it  may  be  eaten  raw.  They  also  grow  sweet 
manioc,  sweet  potatoes,  bananas,  papaya,  urucu,  and  cotton.  Formerly, 
they  did  not  know  tobacco  or  beans,  not  even  by  name. 

They  are  good  hunters,  though  fishing  is  of  greater  importance.  Tapir 
is  their  favorite  game,  and  they  relish  monkeys  but  fear  losing  their 
arrows  on  them.  To  catch  birds,  they  set  out  sticks  covered  with  the 
viscous  milk  of  guanani  (Tomorita  sp.  ?)  (Nunes  Pereira,  1940,  p.  36). 
They  eat  batrachians. 

286  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

The  Parintintin  take  fish  with  weirs  placed  across  the  outlets  of  lakes, 
and  with  bows  and  arrows  shot  from  their  canoes.  In  suitable  places, 
a  fisherman  awaits  his  chance  on  a  platform  built  on  a  limb  overhanging 
the  river.  Frequently,  these  Indians  make  decoys — full-size  figures  of 
fishes  carved  of  tree  bark  and  painted  with  charcoal — and  hold  them 
underwater  by  a  long,  slender  rod  stuck  into  the  river  bank.  They  lack 

The  Parintintin  have  no  domesticated  animals  and  even  fear  small 
dogs,  but  they  keep  large  numbers  of  wild  birds. 

They  roast  maize  in  ashes  or  pound  it  in  a  mortar.  They  wet  the 
flour  and  make  it  into  balls  the  size  of  a  fist,  which  are  baked  in  embers 
and  again  crushed  in  the  mortar.  The  dry  flour  thus  prepared  is  eaten 
dry  with  meat  or  fish,  or  it  is  cooked  as  a  porridge.  The  Parintintin 
also  make  flat  cakes  (beiju)  roasted  in  embers.  Their  mortar  is  the 
vertical,  cylindrical  type.  The  pestle  is  a  long,  slender  stick.  When 
traveling,  they  carry  small  portable  mortars. 


The  huts  are  open  rectangular  sheds  20  m.  (about  65  ft.)  or  more 
long  and  6  m.  (20  ft.)  high.  The  roof  sometimes  extends  beyond  the 
hut  to  form  a  veranda.  Inside,  at  irregular  intervals  between  the  uprights, 
there  are  horizontal  poles  from  which  the  hammocks  are  hung.  The 
hammocks  are  small  because  the  Indians  sleep  doubled-up  on  their  sides. 
A  fire  always  burns  inside. 

The  huts  are  grouped  at  random,  with  no  more  than  four  in  each 


A  man's  complete  costume  consists  of  four  pieces.  (1)  The  penis 
sheath  is  worn  by  all  Indians.  It  is  made  of  at  least  12  overlapping 
leaves  of  aruma  (Ischnosiphon  ovatus),  partly  held  together  by  two 
stitches.  The  edges  are  doubled,  so  as  not  to  chafe  the  skin,  and  the 
whole  piece  before  being  put  in  place  is  rectangular  in  shape.  The  piece 
is  wrapped  around  the  whole  penis  to  form  a  cylinder,  the  edges  meeting 
on  the  underside.  It  is  tied  with  a  piece  of  cotton  thread  around  the 
upper  end  and  another  at  the  head  of  the  penis.  To  remove  the  sheath 
for  urinating  or  washing,  the  threads  are  untied.  No  Indian  over  12 
years  old  may  go  about  without  this  sheath  ("kaa").  Penis  sheaths 
of  exaggerated  length  (up  to  40  cm.)  are  doubtless  the  basis  for  the 
legend  of  a  tribe  whose  members,  like  the  Parintintin  kaa,  hang  to  their 
knees.  The  Mundurucu  called  this  tribe  the  "Taipe-sisi."  (2)  Some 
men  wear  a  narrow  belt  of  embira,  tied  in  front  so  that  its  short  fringes 
hang  over  the  pubis.  (3)  All  men  wear  one  or  more  belts,  each  made 
of  several  rings  of  buriti  stalks  which  are  firmly  joined  in  front  but 


hang  loose  behind,  partly  covering  the  buttocks.  (4)  Arm  bands  are 
described  below. 

Boys  8  to  12,  who  do  not  yet  use  the  penis  sheath,  wear  under  their 
buriti  belts  two  fringed  embira  aprons,  one  over  the  other.  Smaller 
children  go  about  completely  naked  or  wear  a  small  belt  of  buriti  stalk. 

Sometimes  people  wrap  embira  around  the  ankles  as  protection  against 

Women  have  no  clothing,  but  generally  tie  a  cotton  thread  below  the 
knee  and  another  above  the  ankle. 

Soon  after  birth,  the  earlobes  of  both  sexes  are  pierced.  Ordinarily 
nothing  is  worn  through  the  hole,  but  some  men  put  a  little  stick  through, 
or,  on  special  occasions,  a  little  bamboo  stick,  the  end  of  which  rests  on 
the  shoulder,  or  a  feather  tuft. 

Feather  ornaments,  used  exclusively  by  men  and  older  boys,  are  not 
show3\  They  comprise  feather  diadems  and  neck  feathers.  The  diadems 
consist  of  a  wide  band  of  feathers  of  different  colors,  covered  at  the 
base  by  a  narrower  band  of  black  feathers.  The  whole  is  mounted  on 
a  double  ring  of  buriti  stalks,  with  a  circular  elastic  net  made  of  cotton 
threads.  The  neck  pieces  are  made  of  straw,  feather  tufts,  cords,  light 
sticks  covered  with  fine  feathers,  and  macaw  tail  feathers,  from  the 
points  of  which  fine  feathers  or  human  hair  are  hung.  Another  ornament 
exclusively  for  men  is  a  babassii  straw  armband,  3  cm.  (1.2  inches)  wide, 
decorated  with  small  feathers  glued  to  it  and  with  tufts  and  long  strings 
of  feathers.  Other  ornaments  are  made  of  embira,  with  long  fringes, 
or  of  tubular  bones.  Children  wear  necklaces  of  a  great  variety  of  ma- 
terials and  a  characteristic  ornament  consisting  of  two  teeth  of  a  large 
mammal,  e.  g.,  jaguar,  peccary,  or  tapir,  symmetrically  tied  or  merely 
held  by  a  string.  The  only  women's  ornament  is  a  string  of  beads  of 
tucuma  and  of  bone. 

The  Parintintm  are  always  well-groomed  and  keep  their  hair  combed. 
Eyebrows  and  lashes,  but  not  body  hair,  are  plucked.  Both  sexes  cut 
their  hair  in  a  circle,  so  that  bangs  fall  a  little  above  the  eyebrows  and 
the  top  of  the  ears  are  covered.  Some  women  wear  their  hair  long, 
tied  with  a  cotton  thread  behind.  Hair  trimmings  are  carefully  collected 
to  avoid  their  use  in  witchcraft.  Combs  are  small  and  one-sided,  the 
teeth  being  held  between  two  pairs  of  sticks  by  a  cotton  wrapping. 

Tattooing  is  done  with  genipa  dye.  On  men,  it  consists  of  three  lines 
from  each  ear,  one  to  the  upper  lip,  one  to  the  corner  of  the  mouth,  and 
one  to  the  chin,  with  lines  encircling  the  mouth,  and  a  fishtail  design  at 
each  corner  of  the  mouth.  Women  have  a  rectangular  Greek  fret  on 
the  chin,  the  same  length  as  the  mouth  with  a  wide  line  on  each  side 
from  the  fret  to  the  ear.  They  also  have  a  fine  line  over  the  eye  and 
a  horizontal  line  extending  from  the  corner  of  the  eye.  Practically  all 
men  have  a  jaguar  tattooed  on  the  inside  of  the  forearm  and  a  pacu 


(Prochilodus  sp.)  on  the  outside.  Commonly  the  left  side  of  a  man's 
back,  from  the  shoulder  blade  down,  has  two  vertical  rows  of  10  to  15 
rectangles  of  solid  color.  Other  tatooed  figures  vary  considerably  from 
one  individual  to  another. 

As  pigments  for  body  paint,  the  Parintintin  use  clay  for  white,  urucu 
for  red,  genipa  for  dark  blue,  and  burnt  Brazil  nuts  for  black,  the  last 
restricted  to  men.  Women  prefer  urucu,  with  which  they  sometimes 
paint  themselves  from  head  to  foot.  For  warfare  and  for  welcoming 
a  guest,  which  is  done  by  simulating  an  attack,  men  paint  a  band  3 
fingers  wide  from  one  ear  to  the  other,  across  the  mouth.  They  also 
paint  their  forearms  and  trace  horizontal  stripes  or  irregular  spots  on 
either  side  of  their  chest  and  thighs.  Some  smear  black  on  themselves 
without  design.  Certain  warriors  go  into  combat  entirely  covered  with 
white,  presenting  a  ghostly  appearance. 


The  Parintintin  canoe  is  made  of  a  section  of  "jutahy"  bark  (Hyine- 
naea) ,  with  raised  edges.  It  is  reinforced  by  long  poles  along  the  sides,  by 
inside  cross  pieces,  which  serve  as  seats,  and  by  liana  ties  at  the  ends 
and  from  side  to  side.  The  bottom  of  the  canoe  is  covered  with  a 
mat  made  of  sticks.  These  craft  are  5  to  7  m.  (about  16^  to  23j^  ft.) 
long  and  0.5  meter  (ly^  ft.)  wide.  In  spite  of  their  crude  construction, 
they  can  travel  at  a  high  speed.  It  seems  that  formerly  the  Parintintin, 
like  the  Apiaca,  used  only  thick  bamboos  split  in  half  as  paddles,  but 
later  they  stole  so  many  paddles  from  the  civilized  people  that  they 
rarely  used  their  original  type. 


Basketry. — The  Parintintin  have  few  baskets,  except  temporary  ones 
woven  of  green  palm  leaves.  The  best  are  made  of  babassu  straw,  with 
a  round  bottom.  Fire  fans  are  pentagonal,  the  larger  ones  being  used 
also  as  mats  when  sitting  by  the  fire  (apparently  the  Parintintin  have  no 
benches).     Sieves  for  maize  flour  are  bowl-shaped. 

Spinning  and  weaving. — The  spindle  used  for  cotton  has  a  small 
button  on  top  of  the  shank  and  a  jaboti  (Testudo  tabulata)  shell  whorl 
with  incised  decoration.  The  Parintintin  may  formerly  have  woven 
slings  for  carrying  children,  but  at  the  time  of  their  pacification,  all  were 
made  of  stolen  cloth  or  of  embira.  Hammocks  are  made  of  cotton,  and 
are  twined ;  the  interval  between  the  weft  elements  varies  greatly.  Sep- 
arate strands  are  not  added  at  the  ends  to  form  suspension  loops  (sobre- 
punhos)  ;  instead,  the  long,  strong  warp  strands  of  tauari  (Couratari  sp.) 
fibers  are  gathered  into  a  bundle  which  is  doubled  back  to  form  a  loop. 


Pottery. — No  clay  pot  was  ever  seen  among  the  Parintintin,  but  this 
tribe  knows  the  Tupi  name  for  pot  (nyaepepo,  a  word  formed  with  nyae, 
"clay"),  so  that  the  ceramic  art  must  have  been  lost  only  recently. 

Gourds. — The  only  vessels  are  made  of  calabashes  and  gourds.  The 
latter  were  made  with  a  narrow  orifice  for  water  containers,  and  with 
a  wide  opening  and  a  suspension  cord  for  holding  small  items.  Calabashes 
are  blackened  inside,  but  lack  exterior  decoration.  Cracks  are  repaired 
by  sewing  with  thread. 

Weapons. — The  main  weapon  is  the  bow  and  arrow.  The  bows  are 
made  of  pau  d'arco  (Tecoma  sp.)  and  are  over  2  m.  (6  ft.)  long,  with  a 
semicircular  cross  section,  and  the  belly  side  flat  or  slightly  con- 
cave. The  string  is  three-ply  of  embira  or  tauari  (Couratari  sp.).  In 
shooting,  the  bow  is  held  diagonally,  the  upper  end  slightly  to  the  right. 
Children's  toy  bows  are  either  round  or  semicircular  in  cross  section. 

Arrows  are  of  three  types:  (1)  A  fishing  arrow,  of  wild  cane 
(Gynerium) ,  approximately  2.5  m.  (8^  ft.)  long,  without  feathering  and 
with  one  to  three  heads  barbed  with  iron  nails;  (2)  a  small  game  arrow, 
used  only  occasionally  in  fishing  or  warfare,  1.5  m.  (4^  ft.)  long,  with  a 
slender  shaft  of  camayuva  {Guadua  sp.),  with  tangential  (arched)  feather- 
ing, and  tipped  with  a  wooden  rod,  which  is  serrated  on  one  side  or  cut 
with  a  series  of  fine  overlapping  cones;  (3)  a  large  game  and  war  arrow, 
with  a  heavy  camayuva  shaft  and  a  lanceolate  bamboo  head  40  cm.  (16  in.) 
long.  The  last  may  have  a  barb  on  each  side  of  the  proximal  end,  two 
pairs  of  barbs,  a  powerful  continuous  row  of  teeth  on  one  side,  or  no  barbs 
at  all.  The  point  is  extremely  sharp,  and  the  edges  are  made  razor-sharp 
by  means  of  an  instrument  consisting  of  a  cutia  {Dasyprocta  aguti)  tooth 
attached  to  a  handle.  Now  and  then  the  hafted  end  of  the  point  has 
a  beautiful  fa.bric  of  black  and  white  hairs  of  the  peccary  {Tayassu  tajacu). 
Arrow  feathers  are  generally  of  mutum  {Crax)  and  royal  sparrow  hawk, 
and  are  30  cm.  (12  in.)  long,  flush  and  unspiralled;  the  wrappings  are 
covered  with  fine  throat  feathers  of  the  toucan.  The  10  or  12  intermediate 
ties  consist  of  very  fine  threads. 

On  two  occasions  the  Parintintin  used  plain  round  sticks,  1.5  m.  (4}4 
ft. )  long,  as  clubs  and  discarded  them  afterward.  They  use  bamboo  daggers 
with  sharp  blades  like  arrowheads  and  the  internodal  end  as  the  handle. 
These  are  the  original  knives  which  they  used  for  various  purposes, 
including  cutting  their  hair. 

Fire. — Fire  is  made  with  a  hand-rotated  drill  and  a  hearth  which  has 
three  slightly  concave  surfaces.  The  drill  penetrates  one  of  the  lateral 
surfaces  through  to  the  bottom  surface,  where  the  accumulated  powder 
ignites.  Lacking  this  apparatus,  an  arrow  shaft  and  bamboo  arrowhead 
are  used.    Charred  cotton  serves  as  tinder. 

290  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


Moieties. — The  Parintintin  are  divided  in  two  exogamic,  unlocalized 
patrilineal  moieties:  Mitii  (Mitua,  mitu)  and  Kwandu  {Harpia 
harpy ja,  royal  hawk).  It  is  inconceivable  to  them  that  there  could 
exist  any  person,  even  a  foreigner,  who  was  neither  a  Mitu  nor  a  Kwandu. 

For  a  warlike  people,  it  is  strange  that  the  Parintintin  at  the  time  of  the 
pacification  had  no  chiefs  except  family  heads,  whose  authority  was  not 
absolute.  During  combat,  warriors  acted  in  unison  only  until  the  first 
round  of  arrows  was  discharged,  after  which  each  did  what  he  pleased  and 
fought  if  he  had  courage,  or  else  ran  off. 

Property. — At  the  time  of  the  pacification,  the  majority  of  the 
Parintintin  were  admittedly  incorrigible  thieves  who  employed  all  sorts 
of  tricks  to  steal  the  property  of  others  openly  or  by  stealth.  Even  within 
the  tribe,  individuals  stole  from  one  another,  trusting  their  fellow  tribesmen 
much  less  than  the  personnel  sent  to  pacify  them.  This  tendency  was 
noticeable  even  among  children. 

Modesty. — By  the  standards  of  civilized  people,  men  behaved  quite 
decently,  although  some  individuals  enjoyed  obscene  gestures  and  sayings. 
Women  and  girls,  however,  behaved  with  complete  decency,  and  never 
made  their  nudity  obvious.  The  men  are  ashamed  to  uncover  their  penis 
and,  when  bathing,  turn  their  backs  to  others  as  they  remove  the  casing 
to  wash  the  member.  They  practice  their  physiological  acts  out  of  sight 
of  others. 

Names. — Nothing  is  known  about  the  manner  of  naming.  People 
change  their  names  frequently.  They  do  not  hesitate  either  to  tell  their 
own  names  or  to  ask  those  of  others.  Some  names  of  men  are :  Tawari 
(Conratari  sp.?),  Mohangi  (mohan,  "medicine"),  Mboavaim  (mbo,  active 
particle,  ava,  "man,"  im,  negative),  and  Wiratib  (wira,  "bird,"  tib,  "be"). 


War. — Before  the  pacification  in  1922,  the  Parintintin  lived  in  constant 
struggle  with  everyone  outside  the  tribe.  They  had  not  the  slightest 
respect  for  the  life  and  property  of  others.  For  young  people,  who  in 
general  were  turbulent,  presumptuous,  and  disrespectful,  war  was  not  a 
deplorable  necessity,  but  a  favorite  sport. 

The  Parintintin  attacked  at  any  season  and  time  of  day  or  night,  though 
most  war  was  waged  in  summer.  War  parties  never  exceeded  20  men. 
With  their  bows  ready,  they  would  pounce  upon  the  enemy  without  the 
slightest  notice  and  with  incredible  speed,  taking  advantage  of  any  open 
path  which  permitted  unobstructed  maneuvers.  After  their  first  round  of 
arrows  was  sent  through  the  enemies'  straw  huts,  they  burst  out  with  war 
cries  and  discharged  more  rounds.  The  terrified  inhabitants,  seeking  to 
escape,  often  ran  directly  into  the  arrows.  Those  who  fell  were  promptly 
pierced  by  a  stream  of  arrows,  tramped  upon,  and  beheaded.    The  victims 


occasionally  saved  the  situation  with  firearms,  but  often  the  Parintintin 
won  in  spite  of  such  defense.  If  they  did  not  win  on  the  first  attempt, 
however,  they  withdrew  immediately. 

Whenever  possible,  the  Parintintin  carried  away  their  victims'  heads  and 
sometimes  arms  and  legs.  On  the  way  home,  they  strewed  the  trail  with 
caltrops  made  of  bamboo  arrowheads  removed  from  the  shafts,  and,  at 
the  entrance  of  their  villages,  they  dug  carefully  camouflaged  pitfalls, 
bristling  with  bamboo  points.  The  Parintintin  never  reared  captive 

Warriors,  especially  young  ones,  decorated  themselves  for  battle  with 
beautiful  feather  crowns  of  vivid  colors  and  with  long  neck  feathers.  Many 
painted  themselves  black  with  charcoal  from  chestnuts  or  with  white  clay. 

At  the  time  of  their  pacification,  the  Parintintin  were  fighting  only  the 
Neo-Brazilians  and  the  Pirahd. 

Cannibalism.— For  a  long  time  after  the  pacification,  the  Parintintin 
did  not  deny  that  they  were  cannibals.  The  latest  case  of  cannibalism 
occurred  in  1924  when  they  killed  a  family  of  Pirahd  (Garcia  de  Freitas, 
1926,  p.  70  s.).  They  saved  a  piece  of  the  victim's  flesh  for  the  repre- 
sentative of  the  Servico  de  Protecgao  aos  Indios,  who  saw  them  at  that 
time  dancing  with  the  roasted  and  shriveled  hand  of  their  victim. 

Trophies. — The  Parintintin  were  passionate  head  hunters.  The  victims' 
heads  were  defleshed  and  cooked  to  remove  every  bit  of  flesh  and  to  loosen 
the  teeth.  The  teeth  were  made  into  a  necklace  that  was  given  to  one  of 
the  warriors.  The  skull  was  washed,  tied  with  embira  strips,  and  provided 
with  a  cord  loop  by  means  of  which  it  was  held  over  the  left  shoulder 
during  dances.  When  visitors  arrived,  the  warriors  performed  with  the 
skulls.  Immediately  after  the  war  greeting  (see  below),  each  warrior 
mimicked  the  struggle  with  the  enemy  whose  skull  he  carried.  He  then  ran 
back  and  forth  in  front  of  the  visitors,  singing  a  war  song,  during  which 
he  was  followed  by  two  young  people  who  presented  gourds  filled  with 
honey  and  water  to  the  visitors.  The  trophy  and  the  gourds  were  then 
placed  in  the  front,  and  everybody  shouted  and  shot  arrows  at  the  trophy. 
Then  followed  dances  around  the  trophy,  accompanied  by  bamboo  flutes. 
Finally,  others  danced  with  the  trophy,  reciting  their  own  deeds. 

According  to  Garcia,  it  was  the  custom  to  sacrifice  prisoners  in  the 
plaza,  killing  them  by  means  of  a  special  spear  (more  probably  a  pointed 
club  was  used). 


When  Indians  from  some  other  group  approached,  the  inhabitants  of 
the  hut  hastily  put  on  their  war  paint,  while  chewing  charcoal,  and  re- 
ceived the  visitors  with  gestures  and  shouts  of,  "Let  me  kill !",  They  shot 
arrows  over  the  heads  of  the  visitors  and  uttered  war  cries.  Then  the 
household  head  went  forward,  put  his  hand  on  the  shoulder  of  the  first 

292  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

visitor  to  come  to  him,  stamped  his  foot,  and  shouted  a  long  speech  of 
welcome  in  his  ear.  After  this,  they  accepted  the  visitors  and  removed 
their  war  paint. 


Birth. — When  a  child  is  born,  its  father  and  relatives  utter  war  cries 
and  shoot  arrows. 

Childhood  and  puberty. — Children  are  usually  well  treated,  but  oc- 
casional brutal  treatment  was  observed.  When  their  fringed  aprons  are 
replaced  for  the  first  time  by  penis  covers,  boys  go  into  the  jungle  to  hunt 
and  bring  home  their  kill.  Before  the  penis  casing  is  put  on,  mandibles 
(not  stings)  of  tucandeira  ants  are  applied  to  them.  Then  the  youths 
approach  the  house,  where  they  are  greeted  with  war  cries,  and  arrows 
are  shot  (Garcia  de  Freitas,  1926,  p.  68). 

A  girl's  first  menstruation  is  announced  by  war  cries  and  arrow  shoot- 
ing. According  to  Garcia  de  Freitas,  girls  10  to  12  years  of  age  are 
publicly  deprived  of  their  virginity,  in  spite  of  their  objections;  in  one 
case,  two  Indians  traded  their  sisters  for  this  ceremony.  The  faces  and 
bodies  of  young  people,  especially  young  men,  bear  the  marks  of  bites  and 
scratches  received  in  amorous  encounters,  for  it  seems  that  before  marriage 
there  is  much  liberty  for  both  sexes. 

Marriage. — Marriage  is  arranged  by  the  parents.  The  groom  some- 
times receives  the  bride  while  she  is  still  a  little  girl  and  rears  her.  After 
a  long  time  with  his  first  wife,  a  man  may  take  another,  but  Garcia 
noticed  only  three  cases  of  bigamy  in  the  whole  tribe.  Young  men  have 
a  certain  aversion  to  marriage  because  of  the  work  entailed  by  famil}^  life. 
During  the  pacification  period,  no  man  ever  showed  disrespect  toward  his 
wife,  but  a  woman  was  seen  to  grasp  her  husband  by  his  hair  and  slap 
him,  while  he  merely  hid  his  face.  On  overland  trips,  the  husband  carries 
his  wife's  as  well  as  his  own  basket  of  goods,  and  on  water  he  alone  paddles 
the  canoe. 

Before  their  pacification,  the  Parintintin  accorded  old  people  little 

Burial. — The  body  is  painted  with  urucu,  decorated  with  a  feather 
diadem,  wrapped  in  the  hammock  with  its  legs  drawn  up  and  its  hands 
placed  between  the  thighs,  and  buried  in  a  square  grave,  1.5  m.  {Ay2  ft.) 
deep,  in  the  house.  Before  the  open  grave,  the  possessions  of  the  deceased 
are  distributed  among  his  friends  and  relatives,  but  his  war  arrows  are 
broken  and  burned.  The  grave  is  filled  and  the  earth  beaten  down  with 
the  feet  and  smoothed  with  water.  Mortars  and  heavy  tree  trunks  are 
placed  over  the  grave  to  protect  it  against  the  evil  spirit.  The  women  cry 
much,  and  the  men  maintain  an  attitude  of  sorrow. 



Art. — The  best  Parintintin  pictorial  art  is  tattooing.  Crude  figures  of 
animals  and  people  are  sometimes  cut  on  flutes  and  horns.  Wood  carvings 
are  crude  and  at  times  of  monstrous  ugliness. 

Music  and  dancing. — A  triumphal  dance,  held  after  receiving  some 
object,  consists  of  eight  steps  forward,  a  half-turn,  and  eight  steps  back, 
etc.,  and  always  ends  with  two  double  tones  on  the  panpipes  and  a  war 
shout.    It  is  accompanied  by  improvised  singing. 

The  Parintintin  dance  in  a  circle  to  the  bamboo  clarinet  (tore).  Each 
man  keeps  his  arms  around  the  shoulders  of  the  man  next  to  him  and 
dances  in  this  position,  jumping  with  both  feet  together.  Women  occa- 
sionally take  part  in  it,  passing  slightly  hunched  under  the  arms  of  the  men. 

Musical  instruments. — The  bamboo  flute  is  1.5  m.  (5  ft.)  long.  The 
panpipes  have  7  to  15  pipes.  A  bamboo  flute,  one  finger  thick  and  closed 
on  one  end  by  an  internode,  has  a  rectangular  opening  on  side  for  the 
mouth  and  another  near  the  open  end  for  the  fingers.  Other  flutes  are 
double,  connected  by  the  common  internode  in  the  middle.  Signal  trumpets 
are  made  of  thick  bamboo  and  are  blown  through  a  side  opening.  A 
child's  toy  consists  of  a  whistle  made  of  the  skull  of  an  acouti-puru 
(Sciurus  sp.)  with  all  openings,  except  the  foramen  magnum,  plugged 
with  wax. 

Narcotics. — The  Parintintin  formerly  did  not  know  tobacco,  and  at 
first  it  was  so  repellent  to  them  that  they  would  not  go  near  a  person  who 
was  smoking. 

Nunes  Pereira  (1940)  mentions  the  invention  of  cauim,  or  chicha,  by 
the  wife  of  the  culture  hero,  Bahira,  who  toasted  maize,  chewed  it  up, 
put  it  in  a  gourd  with  water  and  honey  and  let  it  ferment  many  days. 

According  to  Garcia  de  Freitas  (1926),  the  Parintintin  sang  to  the 
Sun.  The  song  lasts  the  whole  night,  until  sunrise,  during  which  time 
they  drink  only  chicha,  being  forbidden  to  eat.  They  regard  the  moon  as 
the  protector  of  crops,  believing  that  it  waters  them  at  the  right  time. 

Ghosts  that  cause  nightmares  are  sent  to  "heavenly  mansions"  by  means 
of  chants.  They  are  carried  there  by  the  Kaihii  spirit  (macaco  coata, 
Ateles  sp.) 


Some  Parintintin  myths  have  been  transcribed  by  Nunes  Pereira 
(1940),  but  they  seem  incomplete  and  contain  some  mistakes.  The  prin- 
cipal character  is  the  culture  hero,  Bahira,  the  equivalent  of  the  Apiaca 
Hairy  and  the  Tupinamba  and  Temhe  Maira.  Undoubtedly,  Bahira  had 
a  companion,  like  most  culture  heroes,  but  Nunes  Pereira  assumed  him  to 

294  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

be  a  different  character  according  to  the  occasion.  The  character  called 
an  "Indian"  by  the  same  author  is  none  other  than  Azon  of  the  Tembe 
and  Anyai  of  the  Apapocuva-Guarani,  as  proved  by  the  episode  in  which 
Bahira  fools  him  during  the  fishing  party  and  the  scalping.  Some  of 
Bahira's  adventures  are  based  purely  on  Tupi  themes,  e.g.,  the  theft  of 
fire  from  the  vultures.  The  motif  of  the  pursuing  devil,  who  was  killed 
tossing  a  cluster  of  anaja  (Maximiliana  regia)  on  his  head,  occurs  also 
among  the  Shipaya,  The  story  of  the  man  who  is  imprisoned  on  a  tree 
or  in  a  cliff  near  the  nest  of  a  bird  is  known  to  the  Tembe  and  to  various 
Ge  tribes  {Apinaye,  Canella,  Sherente,  Cayapo).  The  story  of  the  pris- 
oner who  later  changed  into  a  sparrow  hawk  and  took  revenge  on  his 
malefactor  is  also  found  among  the  Tembe. 

Some  Parintintin  motifs  are  entirely  lacking  in  the  folklore  of  other 
Tupi  tribes.  Thus,  the  exchange  of  excrements  by  which  the  ant-eater 
deceives  the  jaguar,  belongs  to  Caingang  and  Baca'iri  folklore.  The  tale 
of  the  hero,  who  is  made  invulnerable  and,  changed  into  a  fish,  escapes 
with  the  arrows  shot  at  him,  occurs  among  the  Sherente,  Camacan,  and 
Mashacali.  The  story  of  the  fish  which  are  caught  by  the  hero  and  changed 
into  people,  and  the  theme  of  the  mosquitoes  originating  from  the  stomach 
of  a  mutum  {Crax  sp.)  are  motifs  of  the  Tucuna  folklore. 


In  1914  or  1915,  a  band  of  unknown  Indians  appeared  on  the  upper 
Anari  River,  a  left  tributary  of  the  lower  Machado  River,  at  lat.  9°  40'  S., 
on  lands  previously  inhabited  by  the  then  almost  extinct  Jaru.  The  band 
had  come  from  the  left  branch  of  the  Branco  River,  a  tributary  of  the 
Jamary,  where  it  had  lived  peaceably  until  friction  developed  with  rubber 
collectors.  In  reprisal  for  an  attack,  the  Indians'  village  and  farms  were 
destroyed,  and  the  group  fled  to  the  Preto  River  region,  but,  failing  to  get 
along  with  the  rubber  gatherers  there,  it  moved  on  to  the  headwaters  of 
the  Agua  Azul  and  Limaozinho  Rivers,  tributaries  of  the  Madeirinha,  and 
to  the  Carmelo  and  Jandahyra  River  regions.  Here  they  founded  three 
villages.  In  1916,  they  were  established  on  both  banks  of  the  upper 
Machadinho  River.  Rubber  gatherers  of  the  Preto  River  drove  them  out 
of  the  Carmelo  region,  but  in  turn  were  attacked.  Attempts  to  pacify 
these  Indians  began  in  1916  but  all  failed  (Horta  Barboza,  1916,  pp.  9  f., 
26,  32),  and,  to  the  present  date,  1942,  the  tribe  has  maintained  its  hostile 

The  cultural  data  below  indicate  that  the  Indians  of  the  upper  Anari 
River  constitute  another  group  of  Cawahib.  The  name  Bocas  Pretas, 
"black  mouths,"  given  them  by  Neo-Brazilians  suggests  that  they  have 
black  tattoo  marks  around  the  mouth,  like  the  Parintintin  of  the  Madeira 



In  1916-17,  Captain  Horta  Barboza  gathered  a  few  ethnographic  data. 
These  Indians  grew  maize,  manioc,  arrow-root,  and  cotton,  but  no  bananas. 
One  village  consisted  of  nine  huts  and  two  large  open  sheds.  There  were 
baskets  containing  maize,  and  utensils  for  preparing  meal.  The  Indians 
would  not  accept  tobacco,  but  picked  up  other  gifts  that  were  put  out  for 
them.  They  had  pots,  a  tore-type  clarinet,  32  to  40  inches  (80  to  100  cm.) 
long,  and  hammocks  made  of  wild  fibers  with  small  cross  twines.  The 
tribe  attacked  with  arrows,  giving  war  cries,  and  they  strew  caltrops  on 
the  paths.     Six  words  were  collected  from  a  captive  girl. 


In  the  triangle  between  the  upper  Tapajoz  and  Sao  Manoel  Rivers, 
below  lat.  10°  S.,  there  seems  to  be  a  tribe  called  Tapanyuna  which  has 
been  hostile  until  very  recent  times.  Coudreau  and  the  Franciscans  of 
the  Cururu  Mission  refer  to  them  as  "Parintintin."  Information  given 
H.  Coudreau  in  1895  by  the  Mundurucii,  who  were  then  at  war  with  this 
tribe,  showed  that  it  lived  2  or  3  days'  travel  above  the  Seven  Falls  of  the 
Sao  Manoel  River.  Father  Hugo  Mense  (personal  correspondence) 
describes  them  as  tall,  slender,  handsome,  long-haired  Indians  who  are 
cannibals  but  good  pilots.  The  Mission's  published  report,  "Lose  Blatter 
vom  Cururu"  (n.  d.),  contains  21  words  which  Mense  obtained  from  a 
captive.  The  language  is  very  similar  to  that  of  Cawahih.  Until  the  1920's, 
the  tribe  still  made  attacks  in  the  region  of  the  Sao  Tome  River  and  other 
right  tributaries  of  the  upper  Tapajoz.    Today  it  is  no  longer  mentioned. 

Another  mysterious  tribe  of  the  same  region  is  the  Taipe-shishi  (a 
Mimdnrucu  name  meaning  "large  number"),  called  Taipo-chichi  by  Father 
Hugo  Mense,  Rdipe-chichi  or  A'ipo-sissi  by  H.  Coudreau  (1897  a), 
Taypeheh-shishi  by  Father  Albert  Kruse,  and  Takai-mbucwu  by  the 
Apiacd  (according  to  Kruse,  Takoi-mbuku,  "long  penis").  A  missionary 
report  found  in  the  Arquivos  da  Inspectoria  do  Servigo  de  Protecgao  aos 
Indios  in  Belem  links  the  tribe  to  the  Tapanyuna,  probably  using  this  name 
in  the  modern  sense,  but  Kruse  identifies  it  as  Parintintin.  The  name  can 
only  refer  to  the  exceedingly  long  penis  sheath  (16  in.,  or  40  cm.)  worn 
by  the  Parintintin,  or  at  least,  by  those  of  the  Madeira  River.  The  Apiacd 
informed  Koch-Griinberg  (1902)  that  this  tribe  wore  their  hair  long,  like 
Mense's  "Parintintin,"  a  feature  which  distinguishes  them  from  the 
Madeira  Parintintin  and  relates  them  to  the  Cayahi.  The  Taipe-shishi  are 
probably  the  Parintintin  who  live  in  the  region  between  the  upper  Tapajoz 
and  Sao  Manoel  Rivers,  and  both  names  are  synonyms  designating  a  group 
of  the  Cazvahib  tribe. 

296  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 


Information  which  Father  Guimaraes  (1865)  received  from  the  Apiaca 
in  1819  put  the  "Cauahipe"  on  the  Paramutanga  (Sangue)  River,  a  tribu- 
tary of  the  Juruena.  Melgago  ( 1884)  says  they  were  between  the  Juruena 
and  the  Arinos  Rivers,  and  an  Apiaca  told  Castelnau  in  1844  that  the 
"Cahuahiva"  had  been  driven  inland  from  the  Juruena  River  by  the 

In  1915,  an  expedition  of  the  Commission  of  Stragetic  Telegraph  Lines 
from  Mato  Grosso  to  the  Amazon,  led  by  Lieutenant  F.  P.  Vasconcellos, 
was  attacked  by  Indians  on  the  lower  Sangue  River.  These  Indians  were 
strong  and  well  built.  They  used  bark  canoes,  grew  manioc  and  bananas, 
and  had  hammocks.  The  men  wore  fiber  aprons,  but  the  only  woman  seen 
was  nude.  Both  sexes  wore  necklaces  and  bracelets,  and  had  their  faces 
painted  white  and  three  white  and  black  lines  painted  on  the  wrists.  Their 
arrows  had  an  arched  feathering  (Rondon,  1916,  pp.  259-270). 

Vasconcellos  (in  Rondon,  1916)  classified  this  tribe  as  Namhicuara, 
but  Rondon  correctly  related  it  to  the  "Parnauat"  (Tupi  of  the  Machado 
River) ,  for  it  is  probably  another  oflshoot  of  the  Cawahib. 


In  Castelnau's  list  of  tribes  (1850-59,  3  :  104)  compiled  from  early  19th- 
century  data,  he  says  that  the  Parintintin  lived  from  Todos  os  Santos  Falls, 
lat.  8°  S.,  to  a  little  above  the  mouth  of  the  Sao  Manoel  River.  In  1895, 
the  Mundurucu  who  lived  in  the  region  of  the  Bararaty  River  (a  left  tribu- 
tary of  the  upper  Tapajoz,  about  6  miles  above  the  Sao  Manoel  River) 
stated  that  about  8  days'  travel  from  the  mouth  and  above  some  falls,  lived 
the  Pari-uaia-Bararaty  tribe  (Coudreau,  H.,  1897  a).  About  1920  these 
Indians  assaulted  rubber  collectors  of  this  same  region,  but  today  they  are 
no  longer  mentioned. 

This  may  have  been  another  Cawahib  group  which  remained  more  or 
less  in  its  original  location. 


Friar  Pelino  de  Castovalva,  missionary  to  the  Mundurucu  in  Bacabal, 
in  a  report  prepared  in  1876,  refers  to  the  appearance  of  a  band  of 
"Parintintin"  in  the  vicinity  of  the  mission  (right  bank  of  the  Tapajoz, 
lat.  6°  25'  S.).  The  Indians  attacked  a  rubber  gatherer  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Jamaxim  River,  and  killed  a  woman,  whose  head  they  carried  away. 
The  mission  Mundurucu  pursued  them  and  captured  several,  but  they  con- 
tinued their  bloody  attacks,  especially  in  the  Jamaxim  River  region,  until 


H.  Coudreau  alone  has  ethnographic  data  on  this  group,  and  he  ob- 
tained them  from  a  third  party  in  1895.  Every  year  during  the  summer 
the  tribe  peaceably  passed  through  the  rubber  forests  on  the  Crepory 
and  Caderiri  Rivers,  withdrawing  in  the  winter  to  the  interior  of  the 
forests  between  the  Xingu  and  Tapajoz  Rivers.  The  Indians  wore  their 
hair  long,  went  completely  nude,  and  had  only  a  little  tattooing  on  their 
faces.  Their  language  was  so  similar  to  that  of  the  Munduructi  that 
they  could  make  themselves  understood  without  the  use  of  the  Lingua 

If,  instead  of  tattooing,  this  tribe  painted,  the  description  given  Cou- 
dreau fits  only  the  Curuaya  (pp.  221-222),  which,  from  time  immemorial, 
has  lived  to  the  east  of  the  Curua  River,  a  left  tributary  of  the  Iriri 
River.  Curuaya  tradition  recounts  long  excursions  made  in  remote  times 
to  the  west,  where  they  fought  with  the  Karuziat  (Mundurucu).  It 
seems  reasonable,  therefore,  to  suppose  that  the  so-called  "Parintintin" 
of  the  right  tributaries  of  the  middle  Tapajoz  were  really  wandering 
groups  of  the  Curuaya.  These  " Parintintin"  ceased  their  assaults  at 
exactly  the  time  that  the  Curuaya  entered  into  permanent  and  peaceful 
contact  with  the  Neo-Brazilians  of  the  Iriri  River.  Moreover,  neither 
the  Curuaya  nor  the  missionaries  to  the  Mundurucu  mention  any  other 
tribe  in  that  territory,  and  Dr.  Emilia  Snethlage,  going  overland  in  1909 
from  the  Curua  to  the  Jamaxim  River  and  descending  the  latter,  found 
no  definite  signs  of  the  presence  of  Indians. 



Ayres  Cazal  1807  (1707)  ;  Barboza  Rodrigues,  1875  a;  Castelnau,  1850^59,  vol.  3; 
Castro  and  Franga,  1868;  Chandless,  1862;  Costa  Pinheiro,  1915;  Coudreau,  H., 
1897  a;  Dengler,  1928;  Dyott,  1929;  Farabee,  1917  a;  Florence,  1941  (?)  ;  Fonseca, 
1880^1;  Garcia  de  Freitas,  1926;  Grubb,  1927;  Guimaraes,  1865;  Hoehne  (see  Costa 
Pinheiro,  1915)  ;  Horta  Barboza,  1916;  Katzer,  1901;  Koch-Griinberg,  1902;  Kricke- 
berg,  1922;  Langsdorff  (see  Florence,  1941  (?))  ;  Lose  Blatter  .  .  .  {see  Missionarios 
Franciscanos,  n.  d.)  ;  Martins,  1867;  Melgago,  1884;  Meyer,  1898;  Missionarios  Fran- 
ciscanos,  n.  d. ;  Nimuendaju,  1924;  Nunes  Pereira,  1940;  Oliveira  Miranda,  1890; 
Peixoto  de  Azevedo,  1885;  Rivet,  1924;  Rond6n,  1916;  Rossi,  1863;  Sao  Jose,  1847; 
Schmidt,  M.,  1903,  1905,  1929  a ;  Schmidt,  W.,  1913 ;  Servigo  de  Protecgao  aos  Indies, 
1942;  Souza,  A.,  1916;  Steinen,  1886,  1940;  Telles  Pires  (see  Oliveira  Miranda, 
1890)  ;  Tenan,  n.  d. ;  Tocantins,  1877;  Vasconcellos  (see  Rondon,  1916). 


By  Claude  Levi- Strauss 


The  Tupi-Cawahib  are  not  mentioned  in  the  literature  prior  to  1913-14, 
when  they  were  discovered  by  General  Candido  Mariano  da  Silva  Rondon, 
who  headed  the  Brazilian  Military  Commission.  Little  information  about 
them  is  contained  in  the  reports  of  the  Commission  (Missao  Rondon, 
1916;  Rondon,  1916). 

The  Tupi-Cawahib  declined  rapidly  in  population  within  a  few  years. 
The  300  individuals  who  comprised  the  Takwatip  clan  in  1915  were  re- 
duced in  10  years  to  only  59  persons — 25  men,  22  women,  and  12  children. 
In  1938,  there  were  only  5  men,  a  woman,  and  a  small  girl.  Thirty 
years  ago,  the  entire  Tupi  group  probably  included  from  2,000  to  3,000 
persons;  now  only  100  or  150  of  them  are  alive.  Epidemics  of  grippe, 
during  1918-20,  are  largely  responsible  for  the  decline  in  population. 
Several  cases  of  paralysis  of  the  legs,  observed  in  1938  (Levi-Strauss, 
n.d.  a),  suggest  that  poliomyelitis  may  have  reached  this  remote  region. 

According  to  the  linguistic  and  historical  evidence  presented  by  Nim- 
uendaju  (1924,  1925),  the  Tupi-Cawahib  and  Parintintin  are  the  rem- 
nants of  an  ancient  Tupi  tribe,  the  Cabahiba.  Since  the  18th  century, 
it  has  often  been  stated  that  the  Cabahiba  had  once  lived  in  the  upper 
Tapajoz  Basin.  The  language  of  the  Tupi-Cawahib  closely  resembles 
that  of  the  Parintintin,  and  both  are  related  to  the  language  of  the  Apiaca 
of  the  Tapajoz  River.  After  the  destruction  of  the  Cabahiba  by  the 
Mundurucu,  the  Tupi-Cawahib  settled  on  the  Rio  Branco,  a  left  tributary 
of  the  Roosevelt  River  (lat.  10'-12°  S.,  long.  61  "-62°  W.)  From  the 
Rio  Branco  they  were  driven  to  their  present  territory  on  both  sides 
of  the  Machado  (or  upper  Gi-Parana)  River,  from  the  Riosinho  River 
in  the  southeast  to  the  Muqui  and  the  Leitao  River  in  the  north  and  the 
northwest.  These  three  waterways  are  small  tributaries  of  the  Machado 
River.  The  native  groups  mentioned  by  both  Rondon  and  Nimuendaju 
(1924,  1925)  are  clans  with  special  geographical  localization.  Ac- 
cording to  Nimuendaju's  informant,  the  Wirafed  and  Paranawdt 
(Paranauad)    were  settled   on  a  tributary   of  the   right   bank   of  the 

653333—47—22  ^qq 

300  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

Riosinho  River.  The  Takwatib  Eriwahun  (Nimuendaju),  or  Taktvatip 
(Levi-Strauss),  who  had  once  Hved  on  the  Tamuripa  River,  a  right 
tributary  of  the  Machado  River,  halfway  between  the  Riosinho  and 
the  Muqui  Rivers,  were  brought  by  General  Rondon  to  the  Rio 
Machado,  where  they  lived  until  1925,  when  the  last  six  members  of 
the  group  joined  the  Telegraphic  Post  of  Pimenta  Bueno.  The  Ipotezvdt, 
mentioned  by  Rondon,  are  no  longer  an  autonomous  unit.  According 
to  information  recorded  in  1938,  they  were  then  living  on  the  upper 
Cacoal  between  the  Riosinho  and  Tamuripa  Rivers.  Living  downstream 
were  the  Tucmnanjct.  The  Paranazvdt,  mentioned  by  Rondon  and  Nim- 
uendaju, lived  on  the  Rio  Muqui  in  1938.  They  numbered  about  100 
individuals  and  had  refused  to  have  any  contact  with  White  people. 
When  the  remnants  of  the  previously  unknown  Mialat  were  discovered 
in  1938  on  the  upper  Leitao  River,  there  were  only  16  members  of  the 
group  (Levi-Strauss,  n.d.  a).  The  now  extinct  Jabotifet  were  formerly 
settled  between  the  upper  Cacoal  and  Riosinho  Rivers. 



Farming. — The  Tupi-Cawahib  cultivate  gardens  in  large  clearings 
near  their  villages  and  hunt  game  in  the  dense  forest.  They  raise :  both 
bitter  and  sweet  manioc;  five  kinds  of  maize — a  white  one  with  large 
kernels,  a  dark  red  variety,  a  kind  with  white,  black,  and  red  kernels, 
one  with  orange  and  black  kernels,  and  a  red  "chine";  small,  broad- 
beans;  peanuts;  hot  peppers;  bananas;  papayas;  cotton;  and  calabashes. 
Digging  slicks  and  stone  axes  were  formerly  used  for  preparing  and 
tilling  the  fields. 

Wild  foods. — The  Tupi-Cawahib  gather  several  wild  foods.  To  facili- 
tate the  collection  of  Brazil  nuts,  which  are  abundant  in  the  region,  they 
clear  the  forest  around  each  tree.  They  collect  two  kinds  of  cacao  beans 
which  are  eaten  raw  and  several  kinds  of  berries.  To  harvest  the  small 
pyramidal  seeds  of  an  unidentified  tall  forest  grass  (awatsipororoke), 
the  natives  tie  several  of  the  stems  together  before  the  ears  are  ripe, 
so  that  the  seeds  will  fall  together  in  small  heaps. 

The  tapir,  peccary,  forest  deer,  great  anteater,  and  numerous  kinds 
of  monkeys  (pi.  25,  left)  and  birds  are  hunted.  Wild  bees  are  killed 
in  the  hive  by  closing  the  entrance  with  a  pad  of  leaves  of  an  unidentified 
poisonous  tree,  and  the  honey  is  collected  in  coarse  containers  of  bark 
or  leaves.  Fish  are  shot  with  arrows  or  drugged  with  a  saponine-rich 
vine  that  is  used  in  dams  constructed  of  branches  and  mud  in  shallow 
places  in  rivers.  When  the  Tupi-Cawahib  were  first  observed  by  the 
Whites,  they  kept  chickens  in  conical  sheds  made  of  sticks  set  in  the 
ground  in  a  circle  and  tied  together  at  the  top.  There  was  no  dog  in 
the  Mialat  village  discovered  in  1938. 


Food  preparation. — Game  is  singed  and  smoked  in  the  skin,  either 
intact  or  in  pieces.  Babracots  are  about  5  feet  (1.5  m.)  high  and  are 
constructed  on  four  posts.  Game  is  smoked  for  24  hours;  during  the 
night,  an  attendant  takes  care  of  the  fire.  The  babracot  for  drying 
beans  is  made  of  several  branches  placed  on  transverse  sticks,  which 
are  supported  on  the  prongs  of  a  three-forked  branch. 

Maize  chicha  (ka-ui)  (pi.  24,  left)  is  made  by  drying  the  kernels  and 
grinding  them  in  a  mortar  with  a  few  Brazil  nuts  or  peanuts  for  seasoning. 
The  coarse  flour  is  mixed  with  water  in  large  bowls,  and  small  children 
spit  saliva  in  the  gruel.  After  the  chicha  ferments  a  few  hours,  it  is 
put  on  the  fire,  and  is  kept  just  below  the  boiling  point  for  2  or  3  hours. 
Fresh  gruel  is  constantly  added  to  compensate  for  the  evaporation.  The 
beverage  is  drunk  as  soon  as  it  is  cold  or  during  the  next  2  or  3  days. 

Manioc  tubers  are  grated  and  roasted  in  large  plates.  Popcorn  is 
made  of  maize  and  of  the  wild  seed,  awatsipororoke.  Pama  berry  seeds 
are  eaten  roasted.  In  contrast  to  the  neighboring  Nambicuara,  the  Tupi- 
Catvahib  are  fond  of  highly  seasoned  foods.  They  cook  hot  peppers 
and  broadbeans  in  a  stew.  A  kind  of  salt  is  prepared  by  burning  acuri 
palm  leaves,  sifting  the  ashes,  and  washing  them  with  water.  Both  the 
water,  which  is  dark  brown  and  bitter,  and  the  ashes,  which  form  a  gray 
astringent  powder,  are  used  as  condiments. 


When  Rondon  discovered  the  Tupi-Cawahib,  their  square  huts  had  no 
walls;  the  gable  roof  of  palms  was  supported  on  posts  set  in  the 
ground.  Hammocks  were  svv^ung  from  the  posts.  In  1915  the  Takwatip 
village  comprised  about  20  houses,  each  from  12  to  18  feet  (3.5  to  5.5  m.) 
long,  arranged  in  a  circle  about  60  feet  (18  m.)  in  diameter.  Two  large 
houses  in  the  center  of  the  circle,  each  from  36  to  42  feet  (11  to  12.5  m.) 
long,  were  occupied  by  the  chief,  Abaitara,  and  his  wives,  children,  and 
court.  Cages  for  harpy  eagles  and  huts  for  fowls  were  in  the  open  space 
of  the  circular  plaza.  There  were  no  fortifications  surrounding  the  village. 
Quite  different  was  the  Mialat  village  discovered  in  1938.  Of  the  four 
square  houses,  each  about  30  feet  (9  m.)  long,  situated  in  a  row,  two  were 
used  for  living  quarters  and  two  for  food  storage.  The  roof  frame  was 
supported  by  posts,  irregularly  spaced  and  set  back  under  the  projecting 
roof,  so  that  the  house  resembled  a  square  mushroom.  The  storage 
quarters  had  no  walls.  Each  of  the  other  two  houses  was  surrounded  by 
a  continuous  palisade  about  6  feet  (2  m.)  high,  which  gave  the  appearance 
of  a  wall  but  actually  did  not  support  the  roof,  as  there  was  an  opening  a 
few  inches  wide  between  the  lower  edge  of  the  roof  frame  and  the  top 
of  the  palisade.  The  palisade,  which  had  loopholes  (pi.  25,  right)  for 
shooting  arrows,  was  made  of  longitudinal  sections  of  palm  trunks,  fast- 
ened edge  to  edge,  the  convex  surface  turned  outward.    The  exterior  was 

302  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.E.  Bull.  143 

decorated  with  jaguars,  dogs,  harpy  eagles,  snakes,  frogs,  children,  and 
the  moon  painted  in  urucii  paste. 

Platforms  were  built  along  the  paths  leading  to  the  villages  as  lookouts 
from  which  the  moves  of  hostile  groups  could  be  observed  (Rondon, 

Tree  trunks  were  used  to  bridge  small  waterways. 


According  to  Rondon  (1916),  men  wore  a  garment  of  woven  cotton 
resembling  drawers.  In  1938,  Tupi-Cawahib  men  were  naked,  except  for 
a  small  conical  penis  sheath  made  of  the  two  halves  of  a  leaf  plaited  and 
sewed.  Women  wore  a  short,  cylindrical  skirt  of  woven  cotton  string, 
which  reached  half-way  to  the  knees  (pi.  26).  Modern  Tupi-Cawahib 
women  tattoo  their  faces  with  a  sharpened  deer  bone  and  genipa,  applying 
a  geometrical  design  on  the  chin  and  two  large  symetrical  curved  stripes 
on  the  cheeks,  running  from  the  chin  to  the  ears.  Men  used  to  paint  them- 
selves with  genipa  or  urucu  dye  when  monkey  hunting  (Rondon,  1916). 
Both  sexes  wear  bracelets,  earrings,  necklaces,  and  rings  made  of  mollusk 
shells,  nutshells,  wild  seeds,  game  teeth,  and  deer  bones  cut  in  rectangular 
plates  (pi.  26) .  For  ceremonies,  men  wear  a  cap  without  a  top  made  of 
a  large  band  of  woven  cotton,  over  which  feathers  are  stuck.  The  chief 
wears  a  heavy  tuft  of  feathers  hanging  down  his  back.  Both  sexes  pluck 
their  pubic  hair  and  eyebrows,  using  the  thumb  nail  and  a  half  shell. 
"Eyebrows  wearer"  is  the  derogatory  equivalent  of  "civilized."  Woven 
cotton  bands  are  worn  around  the  ankles,  the  arm,  and  the  wrists. 


The  Tupi-Cawahib  made  canoes  of  the  bark  of  large  trees  (Rondon, 
1916),  A  baby  straddles  its  mother's  hip,  supported  by  a  cotton  sling 
(pi.  26,  right). 


Spinning. — Spinning  is  done  by  women.  A  Tupi-Cawahib  spindle  con- 
sists of  a  small  stick,  with  a  round  wild  seed  for  the  whorl.  It  is  very 
light  and  is  used  more  for  winding  thread  in  balls  than  for  spinning. 

Textile  arts. — Cotton  armlets  and  anklets  are  woven  by  women  on 
primitive  vertical  looms.  Women's  skirts  are  woven  and  small  hammocks 
are  netted  with  cotton  string,  and  carrying  sacks  are  woven  with  tucum 

Basketry. — The  Tupi-Cawahib  weave  flat  sieves  and  baskets  of  bamboo 
strips  and  palm  leaves,  and  fire  fans  of  palm  leaves,  often  decorating  the 
fans  with  feathers.  An  ingenious  rucksack  for  carrying  large  objects  or 
animals  is  made  by  knotting  two  palm  leaves  together. 


Pottery. — The  earthenware  seen  in  1938  consisted  of  hemispherical 
bowls,  large  ones  for  preparing  chicha  and  small  ones  for  individual  meals, 
and  large,  circular  plates  for  roasting  flour.  None  were  decorated.  In- 
formants, however,  speak  of  a  purple  dye  obtained  from  a  wild  leaf  which 
was  used  in  former  times  for  painting  geometric  designs. 

Weapons. — Tupi-Cawahib  bows  are  about  5  feet  8  inches  (1.7  m.) 
long  and  are  made  of  a  black  palm  wood.  The  section  is  circular  and  the 
ends  are  carved  to  form  a  knob  and  shoulders  for  fastening  the  string. 
The  grip  is  wrapped  with  cotton.  Arrows  are  of  three  types :  those  tipped 
with  a  large  bamboo  splinter,  for  hunting  mammals;  those  with  a  blunt 
point,  for  bird  hunting ;  and  arrows  which  have  short  feathers  and  four  to 
seven  bamboo  points  arranged  as  a  crown  around  a  small  ball  of  string,  for 
fishing.  Feathering  is  flush  and  tied  (Arara  type),  flush  and  sewed  (Xingu 
type),  or  arched  (eastern  Brazil  type) .  Arrow  poison  is  unknown.  When 
shot,  the  arrow  is  grasped  between  the  first  and  middle  fingers,  which  also 
draw  the  string,  or  else  it  is  held  between  the  thumb  and  finger,  and  the 
string  drawn  with  the  other  three  fingers. 

To  defend  the  paths  leading  to  their  villages,  the  Tupi-Cawahib  set 
pointed  rods  or  stakes  obliquely  into  the  ground,  either  singly  or  fencelike. 
The  stakes  are  from  1  foot  (30  cm.)  (Levi- Strauss,  n.d.  a)  to  4  feet 
(1.2  m.)  (Rondon,  1916)  in  height,  so  as  to  impale  the  foot  or  the  body, 
and  are  hidden  under  foliage  taken  from  the  surrounding  forest. 

Other  implements. — Boxes  for  holding  feathers  are  made  of  hollowed 
sections  of  acuri  palm  trunks ;  a  longitudinal  segment  serves  as  a  cover.  A 
manioc  grater  consists  of  a  wooden  board  with  embedded  palm  thorns. 
Spoons  and  containers  are  made  of  calabashes.  Ordinary  combs  and  small- 
tooth  combs  are  of  the  composite  type.  Drills  and  knives  are  made  of  iron 
pieces  fastened  onto  sticks  with  wax  and  wrapper  cotton. 


The  Tupi-Cawahib  are  divided  into  several  patrilineal  sibs,  each  localized 
in  one  or  more  villages  occupying  a  defined  territory.  There  is  a  strong 
tendency  toward  village  exogamy,  which  is  regarded  less  as  a  binding  rule 
than  as  a  means  of  insuring  good  relations  between  neighboring  sibs. 
Endogamic  marriages  are  possible,  although  infrequent.  Residence  seems 
to  be  patrilocal,  although  contrary  practices  have  been  recorded.  Conse- 
quently, the  majority  of  individuals  in  any  village  belong  to  one  eponymic 
sib,  but  are  nevertheless  associated  with  a  few  people  belonging  to  different 
allied  sibs.  Besides  the  four  group  names  mentioned  by  Rondon  (1916) 
and  Nimuendajii  (1924),  no  less  than  15  new  sib  names  were  recorded 
in  1938  (Levi-Strauss,  n.d.  a).  As  this  list  is  certainly  incomplete, 
the  ancient  sib  organization  must  have  been  complex.  In  addition  to  sib 
divisions,  each  village  was  divided  into  two  age  classes,  "the  youths"  and 

304  SOUTH  AMERICAN  INDIANS  [B.A.B.  Bull.  143 

"the  elders."    The  function  of  these  age  classes  seems  to  have  been  mostly 

Chieftaincy  is  hereditary,  passing  from  the  father  to  son.  In  former 
times,  the  chief  was  attended  by  a  hierarchy  of  officials.  He  possessed 
judicial  power  and  imposed  the  death  sentence,  the  convicted  person  being 
bound  and  thrown  into  the  river  from  a  canoe.  When  the  Rondon  Com- 
mission first  met  the  Takwatip  chief,  Abaitara,  he  was  apparently  extend- 
ing his  domination  over  a  large  number  of  sibs  and  trying,  by  means  of 
successful  wars,  to  establish  his  hegemony  over  others. 


Rondon  mentions  the  decapitation  of  enemies  killed  in  warfare,  but  does 
not  state  that  head  trophies  were  prepared. 


Childbirth. — A  couvade  is  observed,  during  which  both  parents  eat 
only  gruel  and  small  animals.    Nuts  of  all  kinds  are  forbidden  them. 

Marriage. — The  Tupi-Cawahib  practice  marriage  between  cross-cousins 
and  between  a  maternal  uncle  and  his  niece.  In  the  latter  case,  an  adult 
man  may  betroth  a  baby  girl,  who  remains  under  his  care  and  to  whom  he 
gives  presents  until  they  marry.  Although  marriage  is  generally  monoga- 
mous, a  chief  may  have  several  wives,  usually  sisters,  or  a  woman  and 
her  daughter.  To  compensate  for  the  shortage  of  women  thus  created,  the 
chief  lends  his  wives  to  bachelors  and  to  visitors,  and  fraternal  polyandry, 
associated  with  the  levirate,  is  practiced  within  the  group.  In  a  polygynous 
family,  one  wife  has  authority  over  the  others,  regardless  of  the  differences 
of  age  or  of  previous  family  relationship. 

The  existence  of  homosexuality  is  not  openly  acknowledged,  but  a  word 
meaning  "passive  pederast"  is  commonly  used  as  an  insult. 

Death. — The  deceased  at  the  time  of  Rondon's  visit  was  buried  inside 
his  hut  under  his  hammock,  which,  with  his  weapons,  ornaments,  and 
utensils,  was  left  undisturbed.  Mourners,  i.  e.,  relatives,  cut  their  hair 
(Rondon,  1916). 


Art. — Painting  on  house  walls  has  already  been  mentioned. 

Narcotics. — Strangely  enough,  the  Tupi-Cawahib  do  not  cultivate 
or  use  tobacco.     (For  chicha,  see  p.  301.) 

Games. — Children  play  with  crude  toys  made  of  plaited  or  twisted 
straw.  In  a  disk  game,  "the  youths"  are  matched  against  "the  elders"; 
each  age  group  alternately  shoots  its  arrows  at  a  rolling  wooden  disk 
thrown  across  the  plaza  by  a  pitcher.     In  another  archery  contest,  they 


shoot  arrows  at  a  dummy  representing  a  man  or  an  animal.  There  is  a 
belief  that  to  shoot  at  a  wooden  dummy  may  bring  death ;  to  avoid  the 
risk,  the  dummy  is  made  of  straw. 

Dance  and  music. — Festivals  were  given  by  the  chief,  who  assumed 
the  title,  "Owner  of  the  Feast."  Festivals  were  preceded  by  hunting  expe- 
ditions to  obtain  small  animals,  such  as  rats  and  marmosets,  which  were 
smoked  and  strung  together  to  be  worn  as  necklaces.  During  the  feast, 
men  playfully  carried  a  flute  player  on  their  shoulders. 

In  1938,  the  Mialat  chief  entertained  his  people  several  times  with  a 
musical  show  in  which  songs  alternated  with  dialogue.  He  himself  played 
the  numerous  roles  of  the  comedy,  humorously  enacting  the  adventures 
of  several  animals  and  inanimate  objects  which  were  mystified  by  the 
japim  bird.  Each  character  was  easily  recognized  by  a  musical  leitmotif 
and  a  special  register  of  the  voice. 

Musical  instruments. — The  main  musical  instruments  were  pottery 
trumpets  (Rondon,  1916),  panpipes  with  13  pipes,  short  flageolets  with 
4  holes,  whistles,  and  gourd  rattles.  A  clarinet  without  stops  was  made 
of  a  piece  of  bamboo  about  4  feet  (1.2  m.)  long;  a  small  piece  of  bamboo 
in  which  a  vibrating  strip  was  cut  formed  the  reed. 


We  have  no  indication  of  the  magical  and  religious  beliefs  of  the  Tupi- 
Cawahib.  The  chief  is  certainly  endowed  with  shamanistic  powers :  he 
treats  patients  and  improvises  songs  and  dances  in  order  to  tell  and  enact 
his  dreams,  which  are  considered  to  have  a  premonitory  significance.  At 
the  end  of  his  musical  show,  he  may  become  delirious  and  try  to  kill  anyone 
in  sight.  ■  ■   ;■ , :( 

Although  nearly  all  the  sibs  have  animal  or  vegetable  names,  totemism 
does  not  seem  to  exist,  for  the  eponymic  plants  or  animals  are  freely  eaten. 

Even  today,  the  Tupi-Cawahib  capture  great  harpy  eagles,  rear  them 
carefully  in  large  square  cages,  and  feed  them  game,  such  as  birds  and 
monkeys.  It  is  likely  that  this  custom  has  a  magical  or  religious  back- 
ground, though  nothing  positive  is  known  in  this  respect. 

Levi-Strauss,  n.  d.  a;  Missao  Rondon,  1916;  Nimuendaju,  1924,  1925;  Rondon,  1916. 




u  'Si 









By  Curt  Nimuendaju 


These  Indians  call  themselves  Parud,  but  since  their  contacts  with 
Europeans  they  also  use  the  name  Cayabi. 

Language. — There  is  practically  no  difference  between  the  Tupi  dialect 
spoken  by  the  Cayabi  and  that  of  the  Camayurd.  Rivet  (1924,  p.  659) 
and  Grubb  (1927,  p.  118)  mistakenly  place  them  in  the  Cariban  family, 
probably  because  of  some  Bacdiri  words  which  they  used  when  they 
were  encountered  by  A.  Pyrineu